#Headlines

IEC to announce  qualified candidates on Sunday as nominations  begin in earnest 

Nov 1, 2021, 10:43 AM | Article By: Pa Modou Cham

Eight aspiring presidential candidates on Saturday and Sunday presented their credentials to the chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) for consideration and are expected to know their fate on Sunday, 7 November 2021.

 

The IEC made some changes to the nomination process which allows aspirants to submit their pending documents before Saturday. The nomination will close on Saturday and the IEC will inform the public who the qualified candidates to run for the December 4th election are . 

Ebrima Tabora Manneh, an in dependent aspirant who spoke to journalists after he submitted his credentials, stated that Gambians should vote for him because of his honesty and patriotism. He said if he is elected, the country will be better than Rwanda, Botswana, and Singapore. 

“It’s doable and we are blessed as humans with knowledge and wisdom. In our first 100 days, we will foster peace and unity and understand that we live with different tribes, affiliated with different political parties, and practice different religions.”

Mr. Manneh added that the country is failing and there is extreme poverty, adding The Gambia should take ownership of the country, economy, and security. 

“Some of the graduates in this country face difficulties of employment and those employed are just by name. There is a shortage of drugs in our hospitals after 50 years of independence and we cannot build our own roads or have sufficient water and electricity.” 

Momodou Bah, another independent aspirant, said he had already sent all the documents that were asked. He added that the IEC asked for 5, 000 nomination cards and he gave more. 

“I believe that I won already and I am the fourth president of The Gambia. My campaign is Profs Momo for president because I have done a lot for this country and it is written in a book called ‘An Eyewitness to Freedom’. 

Prof Bah was asked to change his orange colour because someone else has chosen that and he promised to choose the combination of orange and black. 

Bankole Ahadzie, an independent aspirant who came to the IEC with his motorbike, short-trouser, and boat shoes, declined an interview with the press on the grounds that he was ill and took the Covid-19 test that is yet to come out. 

Banky, as he is commonly called, didn’t bring his 5 thousand nomination list, no asset declaration, no tax clearance, no party symbol or color.

Gen. Lamin Bojang, the leader of Alliance for Reorientation and Development (ANRD), said if he is elected in office, he would make sure that the change every Gambian was yearning for happens. 

“I have found that after 50 years of independence, the country is still in the hands of foreigners, especially agriculture, health, education, and security. As a sovereign state, we believe that our sovereignty is at stake. There is a need to join the underprivileged and stand by them to help and change the dynamic.” 

Gen. Bojang added that he wants the Gambia to be considered a developing country, saying he wants to replace the poor leadership with a leadership that will inspire the young.

1 withdraws, 2 aspirants present credentials to IEC

Meanwhile, on Saturday at the opening of the 2021 Presidential nomination for December 4th polls, two aspirant candidates presented their credentials to the chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) awaiting approval while one withdrew from the race. 

Joseph H. Joof, an independent aspirant who first appeared on Saturday came with two followers. When asked by journalists, he said “I don’t want to bring about 200 people dancing all over the place; it cost money that can go to the Gambian people.”

He said that money can be kept and used for the benefit of their families. The former Justice Minister added that when the victory comes, they can all celebrate it together. 

“We decided not to bring people because there is no need for it. I came with two people and I am happy with it because the procedure is the important thing and not the crowd.” 

Mathew Gomez, an independent aspirant who appeared before the panel of IEC authorities, came alone and withdrew from the race. Mr. Gomez, who came some 30 minutes before his time, waited in the back seat before meeting the IEC authorities. 

Marie Sock-Jobarteh, the country’s only female aspirant candidate told journalists that she realised not long ago that she was among the first to be nominated. Mrs. Sock-Jobarteh, who didn’t declare her asset said she would do that in the next few days. 

“We still don’t have the asset declaration forms and some of our nomination papers are still at the village.”

Dwelling on her inspiration, she said this is the time she has been waiting for because she wants every woman to have a voice and be represented in politics and the government. She added that since she came to the country in 2013, she has seen young people and women struggling. 

Alagie Mamadi Kurang, another independent aspirant said he was the right candidate at the moment because the world is going through some changes and The Gambia needs a candidate that can sail through the difficulties, understand the economy and the political issues. Mr. Kurang added that he has been tested and proven by young people, saying he has been operating an institution that employs and has trained more than 20, 000 Gambians who are employed in various industries. 

“I understand the economic problem of this country and the major problem of the country is poverty. The country needs a problem solver and I have not been corrupted by any government. I’m a neutral person that people can trust to deliver what society needs.”

Mr. Kurang promised to advance the country’s education and agricultural sector and create 500, 000 jobs for young people.

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