The Gambia Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has announced that Gambians living abroad have the only option of returning to The Gambia during the registration period and register within their various constituencies of origin.
According to IEC, this means that it is only in this type of registration that they (Diaspora) can vote during national or local elections. “Until such time that a register of voters in foreign countries becomes feasible.”
Three weeks into the voter registration process, so far, a total of 556,766 voters have been registered. The majority of the newly registered voters are females.
The Independent Electoral Commission, civil society organizations, and goodwill Gambians continue to encourage qualified Gambians to register as the process will end on 11th July 2021.
There has been a lot of controversy surrounding this year’s voter registration process, ranging from the Alkalolus issuing attestations and the alleged issuance of voters card to non-Gambians, among other things.
IEC argues that all qualified Gambians can apply for the new voter’s card at their various registration centers across the country. Therefore, the electoral body invites Gambians to apply for a voter card at their residence or birth rather than going to a registration center other than where they live or were born.
The IEC pegs its expectation to register more than 800,000 first-time voters for this year’s presidential and parliamentary elections.
Over 1,000 registration centers are available across the country, with 53 constituencies and 7 administrative areas, respectively.
The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) has always been at the forefront of funding Gambia’s presidential and parliamentary elections, and this year is not an exception.
According to IEC, this year’s elections are fully sponsored by UNDP, with funding going to stakeholders like the IEC, the Gambia Press Union (GPU), the National Council for Civic Education (NCCE), the Inter-Party framework, the Women’s Bureau, and the CSO Coalition on Elections.
We have 164 Days to go before the December 4th Presidential election.