Tuesday, November 29

IEC Sets Dates for Councillorship, Mayoral and Chairmanship Elections

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By Kebba Ansu Manneh

Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) of The Gambia has announced the dates for the 2023 Local Government elections that will witness the election of Ward Councilors, Chairman of Area Councils, and Mayors across the country.

The Commission also revealed that April 15th, 2023, will be the election of ward councilors, while 20th May 2023, will host the election of Mayors and Chairman of the Area Council.

Alieu Momar Njie, IEC Chairman made this revelation at the Sir Dawda Kairaba Conference Center, Bijilo, where he announced the registration of a new political party by the Commission called Peoples Alliance Party (PAP) led by Ebrima Tabora Manneh.

“The Local Government Elections are slated for 15th April, 2023 and 20th May, 2023. Election for Councilors for the 120 wards will be held on the 15th April, 2023 and that of Chairpersons/Mayors in the eight (8) Local Government Areas will be held on the 20th May, 2023. The commission has decided to fix different dates for these sets of elections considering legal requirements,” IEC Chairman revealed.

He added: “The conduct of Local Government Elections are prescribed to be held twelve (12) months after National Assembly Elections. Furthermore, such decision is also informed by vital militating factors such as logistics, transparency, and Integrity of the process.”

Chairman Njie disclosed that the IEC has registered nineteen (19) parties with the addition of a new political party that has completed its registration process, noting that the new party called Peoples Alliance Party (PAP) has been registered on the 7th November 2022, by the Commission and the party leader is Ebrima Tabora Manneh.

“The Commission would like to seize the opportunity to remind all political parties of their responsibilities towards the promotion of peace and tolerance and to fully observe the laws of the land. Political parties are also reminded that they are required to hold biennial congresses, to provide the IEC with the list of elected party executives, list and address of their regional offices and audited accounts,” Chairman reminded political parties of the requirements.

He added: “The Commission would like to re-assure the electorates and all its stakeholders of its continued commitment and resolve to deliver free, fair, and credible elections to the Gambians at all times. In previous elections, the Commission recognized and appreciated the support of the political parties, candidates, CSOs, media, government, local authorities, police, observer groups, development partners, and above all the electorates. The Commission is of the fervent hope that such remarkable support will be maintained.”

Joseph Mendy, Vice Chairman of the Commission reiterated that except for the newly registered political parties, any political party that failed to host congress by December will be reprimanded according to the existing laws, noting that there is only one Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC) party existing in the country that is been led by Fabakary Tombong Jatta.

“As far as the IEC is concerned there is only one APRC registered with the Commission and that is the APRC led by Fabakary Tombong Jatta. I was the IEC official at their last congress where they selected a new executive led by Fakabakary Tombong Jatta and this is the APRC we (IEC) is dealing with,” IEC Vice Chair clarified.

He said former President Yahya Jammeh has no powers to remove any executive member of the APRC neither did anyone have such powers, adding that it is through political party congress that has such powers to decide who will go and who will come but not individuals like Yahya Jammeh to remove anyone he/she wants to remove from the executive.