By: Kebba AF Touray
The Leader of the APRC, Mr. Fabakary Tombong Jatta, is of the view that the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), has seriously violated his party’s rights to contest for the Chairpersonship Election of the Upper River Region. Jatta made these remarks during a press conference with journalists at his Talinding home yesterday, May 8th, relating to the decision of the Electoral to reject the candidature of Pa Amadou Susso, the APRC candidate for the Basse Area Council Chairpersonship seat.
Jatta said the IEC should be independent and well informed and should conduct the necessary research and consultation with their Lawyers, before making the arbitrary verdict; that they should conduct elections in accordance with the Laws of the country.
He argued that Pa Amadou Susso’s rejection is in violation of Section 26 (3) of the Constitution, section 17 (3)(b) of the Local Government Act and 49 (2) of the Elections Act, arguing that Pa Amadou Susso was nominated on April 23rd and the objection to his candidature was written by one Boido Baldeh of the GDC on April 25th. This he cited, contradicts the Constitution.
“The IEC violated our rights by illegally denying Pa Amadou Susso the right to contest and it is incumbent on the IEC as an independent body, to ensure that they are not aligned. They should have scrutinized the Laws, make consultations so that fundamental rights of the people are not seized,’’ he said.
He disclosed that throughout their consultations with the various luminaries and some political parties, the IEC has transgressed and that they (the APRC) think they are partisan in their decision, by denying them the right to contest in elections in favor of a particular political party.
“We will pursue this particular issue at all levels to ensure that justice is done and the IEC is exposed as to their illegal decision, as it has affected the rights of Gambians,” said Jatta.
He further said his party has undergone a lot of calculated actions, among them the seizure of their vehicles, the rejection of their appeal to celebrate the birth of their party and the incidents of Makamang Kunda and Busumbala. He however asserted that they still have a massive strong support.
“All this is meant to frustrate us and throw us down the ladder. The IEC almost brought the country to a standstill after declaring two different election results on two separate elections,” Jatta said.
He urged Government to create the democratic space, and not to abuse their resolve to maintain peace; that they have been pushed to the wall and they see this as a desire of all the citizenry to have a peaceful country, wherein politics will be conducted within the dictates of the law and according to election code of conduct. He used the occasion to urge APRC supporters to maintain calm and peace throughout the country.