Gambia: 'IEC, Govt Not Fair to the People of Niamina West'

16 September 2020

The lawmaker for Serekunda Central, Madi K. Ceesay, said the government of The Gambia and the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) are not fair to the people of Niamana West by failing to conduct by-elections for the constituency after the death of their representative.

The former National Assembly for Niamina West Demba Sowe passed away in February 2020 after a brief illness in Morocco.

It's been more than five months since The Gambia Democratic Congress' (GDC) Demba answered to the final call and the position has been vacant ever since.

Asked why a by-election to fill the vacancy for the said position has not been conducted, a former journalist Madi said the authorities are in a better position to respond to that while expressing his dissatisfaction.

"I wouldn't have an answer to that, because it's the IEC that is responsible but my role as a member of parliament is to echo the fact that honourable, late Demba Sowe since he died to date it's almost eight months now.

He said: "I have not seen any reason why IEC should not conduct elections. Because IEC and the government at large are not fair to the people of Niamina West because Niamina West is denied representation for eight good months.

"I don't think there is any reason; in fact this is one of the issues when it comes to adjournment debates I am going to highlight on."

Meanwhile on the overall elections schedule for 2021, Hon. Ceesay said the government and IEC have no excuse not to conduct elections, as he urged them to conduct elections across the board including presidential, parliamentary and local government.

He argued that countries with a higher number of Covid-19 cases have conducted elections and that The Gambia should equally follow suit.

He said the pandemic is here to stay like HIV and AIDS and therefore should not stop people's ways of lives.

The IEC claimed their activities including the supposed by-election have been hampered by the virus but the chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission, Alieu Momar Njai, a couple of months ago told this paper that elections will go ahead as planned with respect to WHO health guidelines.

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