Tuesday, May 17, 2011

IEC agrees with stakeholders not to hold a by-election in Kombo East

IEC Chair Karayol
The Independent Electoral Commission was duly notified of the untimely demise of The National Assembly Member of Kombo East by the Clerk of the National Assembly. The Commission is cognizant of its responsibility to ensure that a Bi-Election is held for the vacant seat of Kombo East in accordance with the laws of The Gambia.
The Commission was officially notified of the vacancy of the Kombo East Constituency on the 9th of April 2011. Accordingly, by virtue of Section 84 (1) and (2) of the Elections Act Cap 3.01 of the laws of The Gambia, a by-election should be held in the Kombo East Constituency not later 90 days after the vacancy of the seat at the said constituency. This is in line with the dictates of the Electoral Laws of The Gambia.

Furthermore, it is right that National Assembly Elections must he held three months after the President Election as provided for by Section 96 of the Constitution of The Gambia. In preparation for the Presidential and Parliamentary elections, the Commission commissioned a new state-of-the-art voter cards and registration system and declared all the previously issued voters’ cards null and void.
Meanwhile, current voter registration will commence on the 5th of May 2011 and end on the 17th of June 2011. It is important to note that upon the completion of the registration and issuance of the voter cards, the 90-day period would have elapsed. Accordingly, the commission in the interest of transparency, openness and fair-play invited and consulted with all the political parties on the issue of the by-election for the Kombo East Constituency and unanimously agreed that it will not be held due to technical reasons.
This approach is in line Section 127 of the Elections Act or any other law, the relating to electoral matters which is not addressed by the Act or any other law, the Commission shall resolve the issue in keeping with the standards and rules of natural justice and fairness.”
The Commission in line with its mandate reassures the electorate, political parties and all other stakeholders that it will always resolve issues in consonance with the virtues of natural justice and fairness in keeping with the democratic traditions of The Gambia.

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