According to Makan Khan, spokesperson for the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), most of the (rejected) applications did not meet the constitutional requirements. Speaking to AFP, he said the most common problem was that voters failed to comply with the sponsorship requirement.
Article 47 of the electoral code stipulates that each candidate must submit a sponsorship list made up of at least 200 registered voters in each constituency. According to Khan, eight of the rejected applications were submitted by independent candidates.
Yahya Jammeh’s shadow
Six candidates have been nominated. These are incumbent president Adama Barrow from the National People’s Party (NPP), Ousainou Darboe from the United Democratic Party (UDP), Mama Kandeh from the Gambia Democratic Congress, Halifa Sallah from the People’s Democratic Organisation for Independence and Socialism (PDOIS), and independents Essa Mbaye Faal and Abdoulie Ebrima Jammeh.
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56-year-old President Barrow formally declared that he would be seeking a second term on 4 November, a few days before the election campaign officially begins today (9 November). The 4 December election, the first that will take place since Yahya Jammeh left, is seen as a test of the country’s democratic transition.
Jammeh, who Barrow defeated in December 2016, continues to exert a considerable amount of influence in the country. Barrow’s NPP formed an electoral alliance with Jammeh’s APRC in September, a move that was seen as an electoral ploy by some and denounced by human rights activists. Jammeh later rejected the alliance – which he said was made without his knowledge – and his supporters formed a rival party.
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