Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Gambians Abroad Request Cost Estimate for Registration

Mr Saihou Mballow MDD (Pix by Senegambia News)
Diaspora Gambians have requested the Gambia’s electoral body to submit cost estimate for possible extending of voter registration to Gambians abroad.
The request came on the heels of recent communication between the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) and the U.S. based Gambian Movement for Democracy and Development.
“Mr [IEC] Chairman, we would like to inform you that after receiving your letter, we made some consultations with other sister Gambian organisations, concerned Gambians and democratic institutions who expressed willingness to work with the IEC in meeting the cost of registering qualified overseas Gambians in countries such as Senegal, UK, USA, Sweden and Ghana among others,” the movement said in a letter sent to IEC.

 “We, therefore, kindly suggest that your office send us a cost estimates for registering Gambians living abroad.”
Forty-five-day long general voter registration exercise, which kicked off May 5, 2011, is in an advanced stage, ahead of the upcoming electoral cycle, starting with presidential election due November 24, 2011.
However, from the onset, Independent Electoral Commission said, it lacks funds to extend it to Gambians abroad – a decision that does not go down well with Gambians abroad.
And following a petition sent to IEC by the U.S. based Gambian rights group demanding to be considered, IEC is reported to have responded.
 “IEC would under normal circumstances be obliged to extend its activities in the Gambia Diaspora, but due to lack of funds, the Commission will not be able to do so this time, but that will in future be considered,” IEC chairman has reportedly said.
But the movement is requesting the IEC to send them the cost estimate for the possible voter registration of Gambians abroad.
“One way of guaranteeing an electoral success is by strengthening the Voters Registration by ensuring that everyone eligible to vote is not disfranchised, and includes citizens living outside the country as well as all the youth who will turn 18 years this November,” it said. Source - The Daily News

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