The law has already given those powers to the Independent Electoral Commission. The members of the National Assembly, especially those who are not members of the ruling party should refer to Section 134 of the Elections Act which gives the commission mandatory powers to review fees for the registration of political parties and deposits for candidates. It reads: “The Commission may make Rules generally for the better carrying out of the provisions of this Act and shall in particular make Rules (a) prescribing fees for the registration of political parties and any other fees which may be prescribed under this Act; (b) revising the deposits payable under this Act; (c) prescribing such procedures not covered under this Act as the Commission considers necessary for the effective conduct of elections; (d) authorising individuals, local and international organizations, and members of the press and media to witness registration of voters and the conduct of elections; (e) regarding the certificate to be used by the Returning officers to allow election officers and police officers to vote at their places of duty; (f) regarding the forms of the Report on the Closing of Polls and Report on the Counting of Votes; (g) prescribing the Certificate of Authorisation required under section 86; (h) prescribing the amount of donations and gifts which a candidate or political party may receive with respect to any election; (i) prescribing forms for returns of death and the registration of political parties; and (j) prescribing any matter which may be prescribed under this Act.” To vote and stand for elections is a constitutional right and no law should impose unreasonable and unjustifiable restrictions in the exercise of political rights. Imposing one Million Dalasis on citizens before they could even register a political party and then impose deposits amounting to 6 Million Dalasis before they could participate in all public elections is unreasonable and unjustifiable in a heavily indebted poor country. This makes it impossible for most Gambians especially youths and women to serve as representatives. The Bill is designed to promote political exclusion and inclusion. It is a reactionary Bill which should not be a law in any society. It promotes money-cracy and should be totally rejected.]]>

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