A former Gambian High Court Judge and General Counsel Almamy Fanding Taal, has called for appropriate measures to be put in place to allow the Gambian Diaspora to vote in Gambian elections.
The Gambian diaspora constituency has been left on the sidelines as mere spectators when it comes to voting in elections to shape the future of their country of birth since the country gained independence in 1965.
In a tweet to his followers, General Counsel Taal who is also the spokesperson for the Gamnia’s main opposition political party, the UDP argues:
“ Voting is a human right but to realise this right the appropriate processes must be in place before elections, even where one is qualified to vote if you are not on the Voters Register you cannot vote: the #Gambian #Diaspora must vote NOW#”
Gambians in the diaspora have been active players in the political discourse during the regime of exiled former President Jammeh and the coalition government of President Adama Barrow. This include substantial financial contributions, voter awareness campaigns and a host of other things to influence the political direction of the country. Diaspora Gambia contributes 22 percent of the country’s GDP in remittances annually.
However, from the 22 years and 3 years governments of Jammeh and Barrow, Gambians in the diaspora have not been able to vote to determine the destiny of the country.
The final draft constitution did not also offer great consideration to diaspora Gambians as it’s either ambiguous or offered very little for them to vote or be voted into public office. The new draft constitution prohibits Gambians with dual nationalities from contesting the office of the President, or as a Member of Parliament.