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Opposition boycotts Gambia parliamentary poll

Discussion in 'International Forum' started by Askari Kanzu, Mar 29, 2012.

  1. Askari Kanzu

    Askari Kanzu JF-Expert Member

    Mar 29, 2012
    Joined: Jan 7, 2011
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    Opposition boycotts Gambia parliamentary poll

    Opposition leaders say ruling party is abusing system in order to tip the poll in its favour as voting begins.

    Last Modified: 29 Mar 2012
    President Yahya Jammeh swept to re-election in November with 72 per cent of the votes [EPA]

    Gambians have begun voting in parliamentary elections that the opposition has boycotted, saying the ruling party is abusing the system in order to tip the poll in its favour.

    Voters queued up in long lines in the capital Banjul on Thursday, to cast their ballot by popping a glass marble into a coloured drum representing their candidate, a system used because of the West African country's high illiteracy rate.

    The marbles fall into each drum, hitting a bell which sounds loudly, preventing multiple voting.

    The election is only taking place in 23 of the 48 constituencies as the remaining 25 parliamentary seats held by the ruling Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC) went unopposed due to the boycott by the opposition.

    "The ruling APRC will win all seats in parliament because the opposition has shown no sign of seriousness in tackling the current government, which has brought tremendous development in this country," said Habib Njie, a student.

    Observers from the African Union, Commonwealth and the Organisation of Islamic Conference were seen at various polling stations.

    While six opposition parties are boycotting the elections, one opposition leader, Hamat Bah - whose party does not currently hold a seat in parliament - rejected the boycott call.

    Full story
    (Al Jazeera)