By Adama Makasuba
At least eight political parties in The Gambia have defended 10 year term for officials of the Independent Electoral Commission.
The politicians made the recommendation during a dialogue with political parties organized by the Constitutional Review Commission, held at Ocean Bay Hotel.
Speaking at the program, leader of the United Democratic Party, Ousainou Darboe, defended the 10 year tenure of the commissioners of the Independent Electoral Commission.
“Each commissioner should be a person of integrity to avoid being influence by perfidy,” he said.
Suwaibu Touray, National Assembly Member for Wuli East and a member of People’s Democratic for Organization Independent and Socialism, said “10years mandate for the commissioners is enough because security tenure is important because if not it will be hard for them to be independent.”
Another speaker and representative from the People’s Progressive Party, Kebab Jallow, said his party submitted to the Constitutional Review Commission that “the name of the electoral commission should remain as it is, adding the state should not interfere to change the name.”
However, Kantong Gassama, who represented for the National Convention Party, said the Independent Electoral Commission should have a five year term limit.
Fabakary Tombong Jatta leader of the APRC said, “members of the Independent Electoral Commission should not apply for the position but be a person’s that have the competency and integrity to serve in that office.”
A representative from the National Reconciliation Party, Phili Suso, said the chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission should not be appointed by the president of the land.
He also suggested and defended the introduction of ballot papers in the country, adding the world is changing and what man can do man can create.
Amadou Sanneh, a member of UDP, also recommended the use of paper ballot and said the country need to progress.
He said Gambians should not underrate the unlettered population of the country, adding other countries using the paper ballot also have unlettered population.