Gambians in Diaspora to vote in all elections, Supreme Court declares

Jan 28, 2021, 2:48 PM | Article By: Sankulleh Janko

The Supreme Court of the Gambia on Wednesday has ruled that Gambians abroad can register and vote in all national elections including referenda, presidential, National Assembly and Local Government elections.

The highest court in the land pursuant to Section 39 of the 1997 Constitution declared that “every Gambian, including those residing outside the jurisdiction, are entitled to register for any vote in elections to the offices of President, members of the National Assembly, for local government offices and traditional rulers as well as referenda.”

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court also declared that “section 17 (1) (e) of the Elections (Amendment) Act 2015 requiring all members of the executive of a political party to be resident in the Gambia is ultra vires Sections 41 and 60 of the Constitution.

The Chief Justice said it “is therefore invalid null and void and is hereby served from the Elections Act.”

The Supreme Court declared that it does not have the jurisdiction to make a declaration on human rights in the Constitution.

It declared that “the declarations sought by plaintiffs, in so far as they are based on alleged violations of their Constitutional rights guaranteed under Chapter IV Sections 17 to 38 of the Constitution are hereby struck out for lack of jurisdiction of this Court.”

The declaration which was unanimously made by the 5 Supreme Court judges were made in the case filed by former Gambian Vice President Bakary Bunja Dabo, Cherno M. Njie, Pa Samba Jow, Jeggan Gerald Grey-Johnson and Sidi Muhammed against the Independent Electoral Commission and the Attorney General.