Gambiana

Diaspora activists urge foreign embassies to warn their citizens against obtaining voter cards

A Polling Station in Gambia

Gambian activists in the USA have appealed to foreign embassies in The Gambia to warn their citizens “to stay away” from Gambia’s electoral process. 

Lamin Chamang Komma said: “We want to call on all foreign embassies in the country to warn their citizens against interfering with our elections. I challenged all the political parties to equally write to all the embassies to that effect. 

“We urge all foreigners living in the country to respect Gambia’s sovereignty and abide by international laws and basic norms of international relations,” he said.

Komma said there will be serious consequences “if foreigners are allowed to register. There is going to be a big problem with credibility.”

Meanwhile, he called on the IEC and political parties to tackle alleged registration of minors, foreigners and misspelling of people’s names.

Pictures of people said to be minors being registered by the IEC have continued to emerge online. There are also reports of voter cards without serial numbers and misspelling of people’s names and surnames.

“I cannot understand how they could misspell people’s names and surnames despite looking at their documents. This is a deliberate act from the IEC to rig the election. 

“I urged the electoral commission to address these irregularities or else the December election will be seriously undermined. They should be transparent with the process,” he said.

He said the country’s security forces should beef up efforts to ensure that there are checks and balances.”

Lamin Keita, a Gambian PhD Fellow at the Northwestern University in the US, also said: “The Gambia is only one of several West African nations where the political future looks remarkably muddled. 

“The initial reactions to voter registration are a referendum that depicts that Gambians went to the registration centres with widespread anger and one thing that is certain now is that people have very strong views and are determined to be heard. Political leaders have been put on notice.”

He said the Barrow led government has further thrown Gambian politics into disarray, creating what he called “a dangerously unpredictable future for a country that had until recently stood on the edge of genuine democratic progress.”

Reporting by Adama Makasuba 

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