Gambia: Gambians without UK citizenship withdrawn from electoral list

Gambians without UK citizenship withdrawn from electoral list. By Ousman B Kinteh Gambians without uk citizenship woke up to the shock news that they are barrred from voying in the UK...

Gambians without UK citizenship withdrawn from electoral list.

By Ousman B Kinteh

Gambians without uk citizenship woke up to the shock news that they are barrred from voying in the UK elections.

The decision came after the Electoral services department at Sandwell Council sent letters to Gambian residents notifying them that they are no longer eligible to vote in United Kingdom elections.

Lamin, a resident of West Bromwich confirmed receipt of the letter from the Sandwell Council electoral services. “I was surprised in receipt of the letter as I have been granted British citizenship recently,” said Lamin.

Another Gambian resident, Musa joof also acknowledged receipt of the letter. Musa said he was astonished as he has been living in United Kingdom for thirteen year and he is disappointed as he can no longer vote.

Phil Hardy, Electoral Services Manager at Sandwell Council explained the reason why the decision to ban Gambians from voting in UK elections is,  “Because of Gambia’s withdrawal from the commonwealth. The consequences of that is Gambians lose their right to vote in United Kingdom elections. Although, Gambians that have taken British nationality remain registered,” the electoral manager said.

However, Umar Hanif at the UK Electoral commission re-affirmed the testimony as Gambia is no longer a commonwealth nation saying, “Gambian residents in the UK are not eligible to appear on the UK electoral registers.”

He added, “If you have any questions or queries, please refer to the foreign commonwealth office at the following sites.”

www.electoralcommission.org.uk
www.aboutmyvote.co.uk

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