Rejected Independent Candidate Marie Sock: ‘ I have sad news to share’

Madam Marie Sock

The Independent Candidate, Marie Sock has issued a press statement after her candidature for December 4 Presidential elections was rejected by the Independent electoral commission. 

In the statement seen by Alkamba Times, Marie sock writes: ” 

My fellow Gambian citizens and supporters, I have sad news to share. As you know, I have dual citizenship, Gambian and American. To be a candidate for the presidency of The Gambia, a candidate is, quite rightly, required under The Gambian law, to be a Gambian citizen exclusively. To meet this requirement, I contacted the American Embassy in The Gambia last year, and again this year on several occasions, for the purpose of renouncing my American citizenship. I appealed to a senior US Embassy official with the authority to accept my renunciation, to begin the process.

However, because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the US Embassy was not conducting any services except in emergency cases. Recently, I contacted the Embassy again as I felt my situation qualified as an emergency case but was, I told that because the building was undergoing renovations, they couldn’t grant my request. They did not consider the matter a priority. I have been asking for further updates without any resolution. I have not been able to arrange a meeting – for some reason, the officials at the embassy, were not available to grant me a meeting.
Regrettably, today 5th November 2021, is the definite deadline by which all candidates need to have produced their documentation to the IEC. Legally until a renunciation is completed, I do not meet the requirement to continue my Presidential Campaign. I understand the deadline cannot be extended since there have been no exceptional circumstances under which an extension can be granted.
Disappointingly, this challenge has effectively stopped me from completing my registration as a Candidate, and I must, consequently, suspend my campaign, effective immediately.
I wish to thank each one of you for giving me this great opportunity, starting with the elders that strive every day to give the Youths hope, the nursing mothers, the women in farms tilling the soil with their fingers to feed our hungry society, the parents with no jobs, and the Youths still struggling to have their voices heard in a society that often silences theirs.”
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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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