By Lamin Cham

The Independent Electoral Commission yesterday confirmed that it has dismissed the appeals of six aspirants whose nominations were rejected last week.

Pa Makan Khan, PRO of the electoral body, told The Standard  that the appellants are CA, GMC, GAP, ANRD and  independent aspirants Papa Faal and Alhaji Mamadi Kurang. “The law allows the affected candidates to file an appeal against their refusal within two days and the six groups named above made use of that law, asking the commission to review their case. This was done but the commission still maintained its decision based on rules that were fully explained to the parties,” Mr Khan said

He added that the IEC’s decision on the matter is now final.

Also speaking on the preparations for the election, Mr Khan revealed that the election campaign schedules have been drawn, reconciled and given to the six contenders and their groups.

“Also, the IEC security liaison officer, Commissioner Buba Jassey has distributed security details to each candidate as well as protection for their entourage. This is very important as it will ensure that each candidate and entourage have protection and security,” Mr Khan said.

The IEC spokesman also disclosed that now that the nomination process is over and the number of candidates known, the commission would get down to providing the required ballot drums, transportation and other logistics.

“Currently, there are 1554 polling stations in the country meaning each will have six ballot drums. This makes a total of 9324 drums in this election. Each of these drums would be transported to the designated polling stations on time for polling to start at 8am on Saturday, 4th December 2021,” Mr Khan said.

Asked about transport logistics, Mr Khan said the IEC traditionally requests vehicles from government but in most cases that is not enough and the commission would have to hire commercial vehicles to fill the gap and to ensure that every polling station is covered.  The IEC PRO said once polling closes, the votes would be counted on the spot and all these processes would be attended, witnessed and confirmed by the party agents at each polling station after which the results would be pasted at the station and then taken to the collation center for that particular region to ascertain the total for each constituency in that region.

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