Alhaji Momar Njie, IEC chairman

Opinion differs as majority politicians unanimously defended the ten year tenure of the officials of the Independent Electoral Commission during opinion polls organized by the Constitutional Review Commission, at Ocean Bay Hotel on Saturday.

Three political heads from UDP, APRC and GMC and seven other representatives from other political parties-PDOIS, GDC, NRP, GPDP and NCP all supported the motion.    

The Leader of United Democratic Party, Ousainou Darboe, defended the 10 year tenure of the commissioners of the Independent Electoral Commission.

 “Each commissioner should be a person of integrity to avoid being influence by perfidy,” he said.

Suwaibu Touray, National Assembly Member for Wuli East and a member of People’s Democratic for Organization Independent and Socialism, said “the 10 year mandate for the commissioners is enough because security of tenure is important if not it will be hard for them to be independent.”

Another speaker and representative from the People’s Progressive Party, Kebba Jallow, said his party submitted to the Constitutional Review Commission that “the name of the electoral commission should remain as it is. The state should not interfere to change the name.”

However, Kantong Gassama, who represented the National Convention Party, said the Independent Electoral Commission should have a five year term limit.

Gambians voting on election day

Fabakary Tombong Jatta, leader of the APRC said, “Members of the Independent Electoral Commission should not apply for the position but be a person’s that have the competency and integrity to serve in that office.”

A representative from the National Reconciliation Party, Phili Suso, said the chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission should not be appointed by the president of the land.

He also suggested and defended the introduction of ballot papers in the country, adding “the world is changing and what man can do, man can create.”

Amadou Sanneh, a member of UDP, also recommended the use of paper ballot and said the country need to progress.

He said Gambians should not underrate the unlettered population of the country, adding other countries using the paper ballot also have unlettered population.

Reporting by Adama Makasuba

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