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IEC trims down voter list ahead of polls

Oct 5, 2011, 1:24 PM | Article By: Baboucarr Senghore

The Independent Electoral Commission, IEC, yesterday announced a drastic reduction in the number of registered voters, ahead of scheduled Presidential Election slated for 24th November.

The latest figure, of 796,929 registered voters, shows a massive shift from the earlier announced number of voters registered in the recently concluded nation-wide general registration of voters, which was 837, 039.

The reason for the reduction, according to the IEC chairman Alhaji Mustapha Carayol, is that the registration officials at the time added the spoilt and cancelled cards in the statistics that they sent as returns from the field.

Carayol, who made this revelation at a press conference held at the Election House yesterday, noted that, consequently, these records were removed during the finalizing of the register.

According to him, the total number of voters will be voting at 1, 301 polling stations across the country.

Commenting on the preparations of the IEC ahead of the polls, Chairman Carayol stated that the Commission is already ahead of time, as far as the overseas procurement of materials is concerned.

He stated that the materials to be procured locally are also being taken care of.

“With the advent of the new digital voter registration system, we will undoubtedly see remarkable improvements in the electoral services delivery in the forthcoming elections,” he said.

The IEC boss also announced that the National Assembly Elections will be held on 29th March 2012 in consonance with Section 96 subsection (1) of the Constitution of the Gambia.

He also revealed that nomination dates will be from the 8th to 10th March 2012, while official campaigning will commence from the 14th to the 27th March 2012.

While imploring the participation of each and every voter and the general public at large in the electoral process, Carayol urged Gambians to fully demonstrate their sense of maturity and the respect and love for law and order, peace and tranquility in all these activities.

He further told journalists that invitation letters have already been sent out to international organizations, continental and regional bodies and embassies accredited to the Gambia to send in observer missions.

“It is gratifying to note that the response is so far positive,” he added.

Carayol also stated that the Commission in collaboration with the National Council for Civic Education and other partners will embark on a massive public sensitization exercise.