The Chairman of Gambia’s Electoral Commission Mustapha Carroyal says due to lack of budget the government of dictator Yahya Jammeh could not conduct Presidential, Parliamentary, and Local government elections on the same day. Mr. Carroyal was speaking before the National Assembly. He told deputies that such a proposition can only be feasible provided that the government makes the funds available. But unfortunately, Carroyal said the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) which he heads lack funds for such political ventures.
Carroyal’s declaration followed a question fired to him by the APRC nominated MP Babou Gaye Sonko, who asked him, as to whether the IEC can jointly conduct Presidential elections with the other elections on the same day. Gaye opined that by having all elections on the same day, it would save the government from elections related exorbitant expenses.
In response, Chairman Carroyal said the ball is on government’s court. He said if the Jammeh regime makes the necessary funds available the IEC can make it happen. But he was quick to add that under the circumstances there are no funds for such an electoral exercise.
Speaker Abdoulie Bojang, and his Deputy Madam Mbye both spoke at the meeting. The duo spoke about the need to conduct elections on the same day. But the IEC Chairman cites budgetary problems as the main hindering factor to accomplish such an electoral dream as envisaged by the National Assembly.
The IEC Chairman also talked about ballot system of voting. He said a ballot system is much cheaper compared to the marble drum system practiced in The Gambia. He said under the ballot system all votes are counted in one ballot box, but with the marble system is the opposite. He said in The Gambia, political parties are allocated with different drums to enable voters to cast their votes for the candidate of their choice. He lamented that such a voting system is costly.