Alieu Mamour Njie, Chairman of Independent Electoral Commission (IEC)
By Fatou Sillah
The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has rejected the United Democratic Party’s (UDP) attempts to replace their councilor candidate, who withdrew a few days before the election.
The UDP delegation, led by campaign manager Momodou Sabally and national youth president Haji Suwaneh, presented Musa Cham as a replacement for Yahya G. Sowe, who withdrew his candidacy ahead of the local government election.
After a long consultation at the IEC office in Janjangbureh, the IEC returning officer said that the application was rejected on the grounds that it was not submitted in accordance with section 52 of the Electoral Act, which he outlines accordingly.
“Publication of particulars of candidates. A returning officer shall as soon as may be practicable after the close of nomination but at least seven clear days before the day of election or, if the election is to be held over a period of days, before the first day of that period published
“a) The name and addresses of all candidates deemed to be nominated.
b) The names and addresses of all persons nominating candidates and the representative symbol approved for each candidate,
The returning officer concluded that
“In terms of practicality, I cannot acquire the seven days to publish your name in the gazette and the names of people supporting your nomination. Therefore, I am relying on this section to not accept the nomination.” he stated.
Yahya G. Sowe was the second United Democratic Party councilor candidate to withdraw his candidature ahead of the local government elections. The UDP candidate for Njau Ward, Amat Cham, was the first to withdraw.