By: Alieu Jallow
The Chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) Mr. Alieu Momar Njie said his office is working tirelessly in enfranchising the Gambian diaspora to participate in the electoral process of the Gambia.
Chairman Njie said they are working with the European Parliament to start in earnest an interchange communication to identify communities where Gambians are in enormous numbers.
Speaking during the launching of the Open Society forum The Gambia, at the Gambia Hotel School on Thursday 4th February 2021, Chairman Njie assured diasporans of voting rights in the coming elections. He also lamented the standoff between IEC and the Gambia Public Procurement Authority (GPPA) following the deferment of the general voter registration which supposed to commence from 14th January 2021.
Ms. Aminata John Wadda President of the Open Society forum the Gambia (OSFG), outlined that the primary interest is to make people in the diaspora to understand their rights in electing officials to serve as their representative.
Madam John Wadda said OSFG’s vision is to promote social engagement by encouraging citizens’ participation and social responsibility in the Gambia by given support to women, youths, marginalised and the disadvantaged in society. Adding that, the process is to ensure every eligible elector votes for their voice.
Mr. Banka Manneh, a renowned Gambian disapora activist, on behalf of the Gambian- diaspora lashes at the government’s flimsy excuses of lack of manpower, time and financial constraints to enable diaspora to participate in the Gambia’s voting process. He called on the IEC to do what it takes to enfranchise the diaspora community in the electoral process.
Expressing the concerns of the young, Mr. Yusuf Taylor call for the need for all inclusiveness of young persons in the decision making process of the country. Mr. Taylor indicated that easy access to documentation will curb high voter apathy among the young folks.
The Open Society forum The Gambia is a non partisan organisation rekindling the silent majority involvement and effective participation approach towards national development. The OSFG mission is to strive to transform the Gambia into a thriving nation governed by shared values, progress, and sustainable development.