By Alhagie Jobe
The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), Monday, November 7 accepted the nomination of Hon. Mama Kandeh as candidate of the Gambia Democratic Congress (GDC) for the December polls.
Kandeh accompanied by his wife and hundreds of party surrogates arrived at mid-day at the Election House along Bertil Harding Highway to submit the nomination papers which is a requirement for every aspiring presidential candidate.
Receiving Mr Kandeh’s documents, the Chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission Alhaji Alieu Momar Njie briefed the GDC boss and delegation of the submission procedures and requirements for one to be accepted. He said all documents submitted will be put under scrutiny.
Chairman Njie also highlight that as part of the requirements, the aspiring candidate must first be a Gambian citizen between the ages of 35 to 60; holds a Gambia Senior Secondary School Certificate; declares 5000 supporters with 200 from each administrative region; declare assets, submit receipts of tax payments, declares party symbol, colour and picture of candidate; present party manifesto and campaign itinerary and commitment to respect the electoral laws.
He then assured him and every Gambian of a fair and transparent elections saying “Elections in The Gambia cannot be rigged by anyone. It is not possible. The process is fair and transparent”.
He then accepted Mr Kandeh’s nomination saying it is subjected to further scrutiny.
For his part, Mama Kandeh, the GDC presidential candidate thanked the IEC for availing him the opportunity to submit his nomination and for the excellent voter education they are undertaking nationwide.
He supported the IEC chairman’s claim that no one can rig Gambia’s election system and expressed confident with the electoral commission that they will conduct a free and fair election.
“GDC is a party that respects everybody. We are no violent people, the message is always peace. I urge all parties to maintain this spirit. The election is few days and we will remain as one family. Gambia is small place that we don’t need violence here” Kandeh said.
He then expressed confident with the documents submitted for the nomination saying it is valid.
During an interview outside after the submission, Kandeh spoke about the coalition of opposition saying his doors are always open to join.
“My doors are always open to join the coalition but the process has to be done right. I am not anybody’s puppet and no individual is putting me up as a presidential candidate. I am not sponsored by Yahya Jammeh. In fact most of our supporters you seeing here are from the ruling APRC party and they are with us” he concluded.
Meanwhile, the coalition of opposition headed by Adama Barrow will submit their nomination papers on Wednesday, November 9th while the incumbent President Yahya Jammeh who is seeking a fifth term will submit his nomination on Thursday, 10th November.