By: Landing Ceesay
The office of the Attorney General and Ministry of Justice in a press release admitted that the First Scheduled of the Elections Bill 2021 already tabled at parliament which consists of 41 constituencies instead of 53, was an ‘Inadvertent error’.
“The amendment to the Election Bill 2021 was carried out with the current Elections Act 1996, Cap 3:01 Laws of The Gambia, as the base document. As such, the First Schedule contained in that Act which consists of 41 constituencies was inadvertently attached instead of the current schedule which contains 53 constituencies,” the release explained the reason for the error.
It added that the Attorney General’s Chambers and Ministry of Justice has been in contact with the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) and the National Assembly, and the error has been rectified.
“We wish to assure the public that contrary to news reports, no decision has ever been taken by the government to alter the list of constituencies, [and] neither does the government have the power to do so. The delimitation of constituencies is reserved solely for the Boundaries Commission pursuant to Section 50 of the Constitution and who’s [sic] powers are currently exercised by the Independent Electoral Commission under Section 9 of the Elections Act,” the office assured.
The AG Chambers further informed that the correct First Schedule will be part of the Elections Bill which will undergo a second reading at parliament on 29thMarch, 2021.
Finally, the office expressed regrets for the error and any inconvenience it might have caused stakeholders and members of the public.