#National News

NCCE programme officer appeals for peaceful by-election in Kerr Jarga

Oct 26, 2020, 11:23 AM | Article By: Pa Modou Cham

Ansumana Ceesay, Senior programme officer at the National Council for Civic Education (NCCE) has called on people of Kerr Jarga ward to be peaceful during and after the upcoming councillorship by-election slated the 7 November 2020.

The vacancy position follows the notification from the Kerewan Area Council of the resignation of the erstwhile Councillor for Kerr Jarga ward, Alpha M. Khan.

Speaking to The Point in an interview at Jokadu Kerr Alhagie Karu, Mr. Ceesay stated that NCCE, established by an Act of Parliament in 1997 is mandated to create and sustain awareness for Gambian people, especially on constitution.

“The by-election is important and is related to the livelihood of Kerr Jarga ward. That is why when the IEC announced the by-election for Kerr Jarga ward and Niamina Constituency, we find it necessary to meet the communities to inform and educate them on issues surrounding elections and by-elections.”

He explained that voting is not a privilege, rather a constitutional right to which all Gambians should partake after attaining the full age and capacity. He further added that voting is mandatory and a constitutional mandate and if one did not vote, its means he/she is violating the supreme law.

Ceesay appealed to the people of Kerr Jarga ward to come out in their numbers and vote for their choice.

“If you look at the voter history in The Gambia, we have more voters in the presidential elections than local government because they regard it as not important. The local government election is more important to me than presidential elections.”

During campaign, he appealed to them to be tolerant and peaceful because all the candidates are natives of Kerr Jarga and are relatives, adding that he wants them to follow the principle of democracy which is a free choice. “Let no one force a brother, sister or relative to vote for someone”, he advised them.

With regards to the delay of the by-election which is not stated in the Constitution, he stated that he may not necessary blame IEC for the lateness because of the coronavirus pandemic that restricts people from gathering.

Speaking on his personal mindset for the introduction of the paper balloting, he said is too late to introduce that kind of ballot because there should be enough sensitisation for the whole country to understand.

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