Bakary Bunja Darboe, leader of the opposition Gambia for All (GFA), activists Pasamba Jow, Jeggan Grey Johnson, Cherno Njie and Sidi Mohamed Sanneh have been dealt a legal blow on Friday when the Banjul High Court dismissed the legal action they initiated against the Attorney General and the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) on Diaspora voting.
Speaking to reporters during a virtual press conference via Zoom, Jeggan Grey Johnson clearly stated that the Diaspora cannot be left out of the December 2021 Presidential election, arguing that they satisfy all of the conditions required by the country’s Fundamental Law.
Jeggan Grey Johnson’s remarks came after the civil action they have taken got dismissed by the High Court. The Diaspora has been pushing ahead with a massive campaign for the enfranchisement of about 200,000 Gambians living abroad.
Described as “Gambia’s biggest constituency,” he made it clear that the Gambian Diaspora must be registered in order to take part in the upcoming election.
Gambia has entered into an election year as the stakes are getting higher and higher. Besides traditional political parties, a good number of independent candidates have decided to vie for the country’s top post.
Weighing in on the judgement handed down by Justice Amina Saho – Ceesay, he said, after consulting with their lawyers, they are very confident that they will ultimately win the case.
In January 2021, the Supreme Court declared that Gambians living abroad can register and vote in national elections.
While Justice Ceesay did not issue an order urging the country’s electoral body to register Diaspora Gambians, she unequivocally said that the High Court cannot make an order contrary to the declaration made by the Supreme Court.
Far from backing down, Cherno Njie acknowledged the fact that today’s ruling is a ‘disappointment’ for the Diaspora. He then went on to say it does give them a roadmap.
“The Supreme Court decision is very clair and expressive. From our standpoint, this is another bump on the road,” he added.
Njie seized the opportunity to express their resolve to file an appeal after consultation with their lawyers…
Written by Abdoulie John
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