We are now into the formal fielding of candidates for the Dec 4 presidential election, with the opening of nominations starting during the weekend at Election House.
It is usually an exciting national event with great fanfare, especially by the big political parties.
It is an opportunity to put up a show of popular support by mobilizing huge crowds, to accompany their flagbearers to file their nomination papers.
The ones to watch will be the UDP, NPP, GDC, PDOIS and the Sobeya/Turnaround movement of the independent candidate, Essa Mbye Faal.
But do not rule out a surprise from any of the aspirants; the way we were surprised by the persons throwing their hat in the ring, as well as their number – 26 according to the IEC.
One other thing to also watch out for is the possibility of the announced aspirants opting out at the last minute.
This could be due to joining the alliances now being announced at the eleventh hour, or because of other reasons such as the hefty nomination fee requirement.
Usually, this fee is refundable provided the candidate polls x percent of the votes cast in the election.
But the IEC is expected to make a windfall should the majority of aspirants get nominated.
This should help it to recoup some of the public funds invested in organizing the public elections – estimated to be around…
In any case, being successfully nominated is not automatic, as their is a qualification criteria – as spelt out on the IEC web site – which must be fulfilled in order to receive a pass mark.
It is not anticipated that there will be any rejected nominations; since all the aspirants are expected to have done their home work well, before submitting their papers.
However, as regards who finally goes through, this will only be known to the public when the IEC officially announces the certified contestants by next weekend, when the process ends.
That stage would be another exciting moment, when both the candidates and electorate will know that the dice is cast!