Following the close of nominations on Friday 6 November, the Independent Electoral Commission, IEC, announced on Saturday that more than 10 aspirants are ineligible, among them Dr. Ismailia Ceesay of the Citizens’ Alliance, CA, and Mai Ahmad Fatty of the Gambia Moral Congress, GMC.

Immediately after the communique, both the GMC leader, and the CA flag-bearer vowed to challenge the IEC’s decision in court.

In a statement issued by Dr. Ceesay, he expressed his disappointment with the IEC, while Mai Fatty said he will challenge the decision up to the highest level.

“I want to make it clear that we submitted over 250 signatures or nominations from Banjul, but IEC is saying that what they have is less than 200.

“Just to let you know that we have made a decision to appeal this decision by the IEC.

“By tomorrow we will send in the appeal, and we will wait for the outcome; and, we will keep you updated,” Dr Ceesay said.

Mai Fatty declared: “I am disappointed that the IEC claimed the reason, for not accepting my nomination, was because we did not have the required number of 200 voters’ nomination from Banjul.

“This is inaccurate. We filed way in excess of that number with the IEC.

“The process is not yet over. I will file an immediate appeal against this wrongful decision. I am convinced that the improper decision would be reversed.”

The GMC leader called on his party supporters remain calm, adding that the issue will addressed.

Mai Fatty was among the opposition leaders who formed the coalition, which got President Adama Barrow elected in 2016.

He was subsequently appointed as Minister of the Interior in the new government.

Meanwhile, Sheikh Tijan Hydara, the leader of the Gambia Alliance for National Unity, GANU, has announced that he is endorsing the NPP flag-bearer President Adama Barrow.

Hydara was among the aspirants who filed nomination papers this week at Election House, and is among those disqualified to contest in the election.

Moreover, GAMU initially forged an alliance with ex President Yahya Jammeh’s APRC No-to-Alliance movement.

However, the patty said in a statement issued on Saturday night that “the Gambia Alliance for National Unity will henceforth join the National People’s Party to support the country’s development objectives, and to boost national reconciliation.

“The country’s national development is a top priority, and GANU is ready to join hands with the President of the Republic to further develop our beloved nation,” it added.

The IEC late Saturday afternoon announced that only six aspirants are deemed qualified to participate in the presidential election on December 4.

They are Ousainou Darboe of the UDP, Mama Kandeh of the GDC, Halifa Sallah of PDOIS, Adams Barrow of the NPP, the independent candidate Essa Faal, and Abdoulie Jammeh of the Gambia Unity Party, GUP.

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Mr. Sainey M.K. Marenah is a Prominent Gambian journalist, founding editor The Alkamba Times and formerly head of communications at the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) and Communications and PR Consultant for The Gambia Pilot Program, under Gamworks. Mr. Marenah served as the Social media Strategist and Editor at Gambia Radio and Television Services. He is also the Banjul Correspondent for Voice of America Radio. Sainey is a human rights and developmental journalist who has carved a strong niche particularly in new media environments in the Gambian media industry. Mr. Marenah began his career as a junior reporter with the Point Newspaper in the Gambia in 2008 and rose through the ranks to become Chief correspondent before moving to The Standard Newspaper also in Banjul as Editorial Assistant and head of News. He is a household name in the Gambia’s media industry having covered some of the most important stories in the former and current government. These include the high profile treason cases including the Trial of Former military chiefs in Banjul in 2009 to 2012. Following his arrest and imprisonment by the former regime of President, Yahya Jammeh in 2014, Marenah moved to Dakar Senegal where he continues to practice Journalism freelancing for various local and international Media organization’s including the BBC, Al-Jazeera, VOA, and ZDF TV in Germany among others. He is the co-Founder of the Banjul Based Media Center for Research and Development; an institution specialized in research and development undertakings. As a journalist and Communication Expert, focused on supporting the Gambia's transitional process, Mr Marenah continues to play a pivotal role in shaping a viable media and communications platform that engages necessary tools and action to increase civic participation and awareness of the needs of transitional governance to strengthen the current move towards democratization. Mr. Marenah has traveled extensively as a professional journalist in both Europe, Africa and United States and attended several local and international media trainings.

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