Single Nyassi, the Campaign Manager of the United Democracy Party (UDP) has raised doubts over the credibility of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), since its Chairman is appointed by the President of The Gambia.
However, he told The Voice Newspaper on Friday March 11, 2011 at the party’s Bureau in Banjul that the UDP is waiting to see what will happen during the first step to the polls (the general registration of voters).
“The UDP is waiting to see the way and manner the general voter registration will be conducted by the IEC,” he said.
Mr. Nyassi said he is baffled by recent media reports that opposition supporter was arrested and detained for displaying a flag of an opposition party, the Gambia Moral Congress at his own compound in the Upper River Region (URR).
“UDP has condemned the act as it is unlawful and we are also calling on the IEC to immediately come up with a strong press statement condemning the action of the police in URR,” he said, accusing the Governor of URR Omar Khan of masterminding the arrest and subsequent detention of opposition leader lawyer Mai Fatty’s Father.
He said the IEC as an independent and transparent body should not keep silent when such “unscrupulous actions” are been undertaken to violate the constitutional rights of Gambians.
“If the IEC fails to take any step on this unlawful act by the police then the UDP will have no option but to take the IEC to task and question where its independence and credibility lies,” he said.
He said the UDP is urging the IEC to conduct the general registration of voters as soon as possible in order to fast track and give opportunity to all eligible persons to have access to voter cards before the elections.
“We are also anticipating that the IEC will conduct massive sensitization campaigns to Gambians on the forthcoming elections. The IEC should sensitize Gambians as citizens have the right to known,” he said.
“UDP is preparing to do all it can to make sure that Gambians who are entitle to vote are registered and also vote during elections. Cross-broader registration will not be accepted and tolerated by any means as far as UDP is concern,” he stressed.
He alleges: “Our Senegalese neighbours who voted during their country’s election will not be allowed this time to take part in Gambia’s democratic presidential elections.”
Free and Fair election is the business of every Gambian; we therefore hope that IEC will conduct free and fair elections this year by the powers vested on them.