(JollofNews) – President Yahya Jammeh of the Gambia has called on the country’s electoral commission to give accreditation and unfettered access to election observers to protect the integrity of next month’s Presidential election.
Mr Jammeh 51, who has been in power since July 1994 and is eyeing a fifth presidential term, said although his government has provided funds for this year’s election, he wants the electoral commission to conduct the election in a free, fair and transparent manner.
Mr Jammeh said his enemies and critics have always used their dislike of him to make outrageous and unfounded accusations about Gambian elections.
He added: ” So in order to protect the integrity of the polls, I want the IEC to allow all observers unfettered access and scrutiny of our electoral process.
“I know critics will question the integrity of our elections no matter how free and fair it is.
“Even if you [the IEC chairman] stand in water some people will still say you are raising dust, so the IEC should just do what is right and fear nobody but God.
“If you want to listen to all negative comments directed at you, it will be distracting for the good work you are doing.
“Because for me in particular, as far as I’m concerned, people will always make noise here and there about me, but my destiny totally lies in the hands of God, and nobody else.”
The Gambia with a population of less than two million, will hold presidential election on 1st December with 886, 578 Gambians expected to vote, according official figures from the electoral commission.
Mr Jammeh is being challenged in the polls by Mamma Kandeh of the Gambia Democratic Congress and Adama Barrow who is heading a coalition of opposition parties including the Democratic Organisation for Independence and Socialism (PDOIS), the National Reconciliation Party (NRP), the Gambia Moral Congress (GMC), the National Convention Party (NCP), the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) the Gambia Party for Democracy and Progress (GPDP).
The Gambia operates a simple majority vote system and a candidate who has a simple majority of votes would be declared winner.