UDP urged to sue IEC over ‘inflated voter register’
By Cherno Omar Bobb
A senior member of The Gambian community in the United States and strong supporter of the opposition United Democratic Party (UDP), has urged his party to sue the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) over the validity of the country’s voter register.
The UDP’s attempt to challenge the outcome of the December 2021 presidential election was rejected by the Supreme Court based on technicalities.
However, the country’s biggest opposition party has since gone on to perform beyond expectations in subsequent elections winning 15 seats in the parliamentary election and four out of the eight Mayoral and Chairmanship elections.
The party also performed strongly in the councillors’ elections winning the majority in Kanifing Municipality, West Coast Region and Lower River Region rendering the National People’s Party a provincial party in the process.
Speaking to our reporter in an exclusive interview yesterday, Lamin Chamang Komma, said his party’s performance in subsequent elections following their shock presidential election defeat has brought to light its suspicion that they were cheated in the presidential poll.
“I therefore urge UDP and her serious political allies to drag IEC to court for validity purposes,” Komma told Mamos media yesterday.
Justifying his calls, Komma said the 962, 000 voter register is a complete fraud, arguing that the IEC, NPP, district chiefs and alkalolu should be held responsible.
“In 2016, the country’s electoral register was around 886,578 and 300,000 voters were allegedly burnt at the APRC bureau leaving a balance of little over 500,000. So, in December 2016, 525,578 voted and if you add that to the 300,000 cards that were burned it will give you 825,578 which means a little over 60, 000 people did not vote. That means if the 300,000 registered voters had voted Jammeh would have won,” he said.
Turning to the current register, Komma said 859, 567 people voted in December 2021 out of the 962,157 registered voters, representing over 90 percent turnout while in the 2022 National Assembly elections, less than 500,000 voted leaving out over 400,000. He said the same scenario reflected in the councillors, mayoral and chairperson elections.
“Where are these voters?” he asked.
When contacted for comments, the UDP spokesperson Almamy Fanding Taal said the party may consider looking into the issue of the voter register but he challenged the civil society to lead the process.
He said TANGO should engage with civil society organisations and those observing elections to create that locus standi to challenge the validity of the voter register.
He said the majority is with the UDP and that is “undeniable and incontrovertible”.