By Omar Bah
The Gambia police have warned political party supporters and agents to desist from ‘unlawfully’ interfering in the ongoing voter registration exercise for the December presidential polls.
“It has come to the attention of the office of the Inspector General of Police that certain individuals, political party agents, and militants are interfering with the voter registration process, especially on citizenship matters. This practice is unlawful. Consequently, party agents and militants are urged to desist from such practices with immediate effect. Party agents designated and recognised by the IEC to observe the registration process for accountability purposes are hereby advised to do so in accordance with the laws governing the process,” the police said.
Police said concerns, queries and observations should be channeled through respective party heads for redress with the appropriate institutions.
“They must not be seen in any way interfering or attempting to interfere with individuals registering or the registration process, as they have no such mandate.
“Similarly, political party leaders are urged to sensitise and encourage their militants to observe law and order at all times especially during the voter registration process, to enable them to operate within the parameters of the law for a peaceful and violence-free electoral process.
The public, party agents and militants found wanting of violations will be dealt with in accordance with the laws. The cooperation and understanding of the public is highly solicited,” the statement read.
The dispatch added that the laws of the country regarding citizenship are clear. “Therefore, individuals not mandated by law have no authority to question people’s citizenship or eligibility for voter registration. Equally, the electoral laws of The Gambia clearly outline the criteria for registration for voters cards and as well stipulated the body responsible for overseeing the electoral process. In view of the above, any individual who is not mandated by the laws or the electoral body must not interfere with the process.”