By Ramatoulie Jawo
The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC)’s regional office in Kanifing, on Saturday received nomination papers from fourteen (14) independent aspiring candidates for the upcoming local government elections in the Kanifing Municipality (KM).
The IEC Returning Officer for Kanifing Municipality, Joseph Colley, who is also the Vice-chairperson of the Commission went through documents submitted by the aspirants such as their asset declaration forms, and nomination forms showing the number of registered voters nominating them among other required documents.
IEC will conduct its verification to ensure that the required 75 signatures that endorsed the nomination of the aspiring candidates are registered voters of their respective wards before issuing acceptance letters to them.
Out of the Fourteen Independent aspiring candidates filling nominations paperwork with the independent Electoral Commission today, seven are members of the No to Alliance faction of the APRC contesting as independents.
A source within “No To Alliance” confirmed to this medium that they nominated 16 aspirants for KM. Fourteen (14) of those independent aspirants have had their nominations accepted by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) and the nominations of two (2) candidates are still pending.
After successful filing of his credentials to the returning officer, Momodou Lamin Keita said he was happy to fulfil his constitutional right as a citizen. He went on to say that he has huge plans for his ward if elected into office.
“The plans are huge. Our main problem is the “Mbalit.” The waste that we generate from our homes, we have a compactor truck, but is that enough? We need to supplement that.
“I plan to get a tricycle to support the “Mbalt” Truck. It will go around weekly to every ward at a time and that is not enough. You can see the “Mbalit” Truck coming around, but it can’t take all the trash at the same time. It is either full or sometimes it does have breakdowns. So this is why we plan to have tricycles that will be complementing its efforts,” he said.
Mr. Keita said Manjai Kotu is along the canal that passes from Abuko all the way down to the stream which touches some parts of his ward.
“We have plans to get a pumping machine for this ward so that when disaster happens we will be able to pump out the water effectively. We have this belief that we want to enrich one out of every ten women,” He added.
Abdoulie Pusty Njie, another Independent aspiring candidate for Bakau New Town/ Fajara Ward, told journalists that he has great plans for the youths of his ward, adding that it is because of the youths he is contesting in this elections.
Fatou Jatta, an Independent aspiring candidate for Kololi Ward, said she wants the electorate in her ward to benefit from the government because they are all taxpayers.
The returning officer for the Kanifing Municipality, speaking to the press, highlights some of the problems they encounter with the aspiring candidates.
“The problem is that some of them, when you ask them to come for vetting, they won’t come. So you can see sometimes those that came for vetting are easy to process, because it takes about five to six minutes. But for some of them, even the declaration form I have to ask them to fill it out here and these are things they should have done before coming here. Apart from those things, everything went down smoothly,” He said.
The IEC returning officer disclosed that his statistics show that from the 14th of March 2023 to today, Saturday, 25th of March 2023 he received nominations from 71 people.
The nominations will close on March 27, 2023, while the election will take place on April 15, 2023.