Nomination papers are being filled as presidential candidates prepare to go through the process of scrutiny by the IEC to determine whether they are qualified to stand as candidates or not. The Constitution and the electoral laws provide the bases for qualification.
Section 62 of the Constitution as amended states:
“(1) A person shall be qualified for election as President if–
(a) he or she is a citizen of The Gambia by birth or descent;
(b) he or she has attained the minimum age of thirty years but not more than sixty-five years;
(c) he or she has been ordinarily resident in The Gambia for at least the five years immediately preceding the election;
(d) he or she has completed senior secondary school education; and
(e) he or she is qualified to be elected as a member of the National Assembly.
(2) A person who holds the citizenship or nationality of a country other than The Gambia, shall not be qualified for election as President.
(3) A person who, while holding public office in The Gambia has been –
(a) compulsorily retired, terminated or dismissed from such office; or
(b) has been found guilty of any criminal offence by any court or tribunal established by law; or
(c) has been found liable for misconduct, negligence, corruption or improper behaviour by any commission or committee of inquiry established by law shall not be qualified for election as President.”
The Elections Act also provides the following in section 39(2):
“A person who desires to be nominated as a candidate for any elective office shall before the acceptance of his or her nomination papers, satisfy the qualifications stipulated for the office in the Constitution, this Act and any other law.”
All candidates who are interested in participating should examine these requirements to determine whether they are qualified to stand or not.