PART 1: THE FRANCHISEThe right to vote and be registered (Article 39.)
(1) Every citizen of The Gambia being eighteen years or older and of sound mind shall have the right to vote for the purpose of elections of a President and members of the National Assembly, and shall be entitled to be registered as a voter in a National Assembly constituency for that purpose.
(2) Every citizen of The Gambia who is a registered voter shall be entitled to vote in a referendum held in accordance with this Constitution or any other law.
(3) Every citizen of The Gambia being of the age of eighteen years or older and of sound mind shall be entitled, in accordance with the provisions of this Chapter and any Act of the National Assembly providing for such elections to vote in elections for local government authorities and traditional rulers in the area in which he or she is ordinarily resident. Secret ballot (Article 40.)
All public elections and all referenda voting shall be by secret ballot. Electoral laws (Article 41.)
Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, an Act of the National Assembly may make provision for giving effect to the provisions of this Chapter and, without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing, may provide for-
(a) the registration of voters for the purposes of public elections;
(b) voting at, and the conduct of, public elections and referenda;
(c) the duties of public officers in connection with the registration of voters and the conduct of public elections and referenda;
(d) equal access to public facilities and the media by candidates at public elections.
PART 2: THE INDEPENDENT ELECTORAL COMMISSIONThe Commission (Article 42)
(1) there shall be an Independent Electoral Commission for The Gambia which shall be part of the public service .
(2) The members of the Commission shall be a Chairman and four other members.
(3) The members of the Commission shall be appointed by the President in consultation with the Judicial Service Commission and the Public Service Commission.
(4) Subject to the provisions of this section, the members of the Commission shall be appointed for a period of seven years and may be re-appointed for one further term: Provided that three of the first members (who shall be chosen by lot) shall be appointed for lesser periods than seven years in order to provide continuity within the Commission.
(5) A person shall not be qualified for appointment as a member of the Commission if-
- he or she is a member of the National assembly;
- he or she is, or has at any time during the two years immediately preceding his or her appointment, been nominated as a candidate for election as a member of the National Assembly;
- he or she is, or has at any time during such period of two years been, the holder of any office in any organisation that sponsors or otherwise supports or has at an time sponsored or otherwise supported, a candidate for election as a member of the National Assembly or of any local government authority or if he or she has actively identified himself or herself with any such organisation;
- if he or she holds an office in the public service other than as a members of the Commission or the staff of the Commission; or
- if he or she has been convicted in any country of any offence involving dishonesty or moral turpitude.
(6) The president may remove a members of the Commission from office-
- for inability to perform the functions of his or office whether arising from infirmity of mind or body or from any other cause;
- if any circumstance arises which would have disqualified him or her fro appointment to the Commission; or
- for misconduct, but, before removing a member, the president shall appoint a tribunal of three judges of superior court to enquire in to the matter and report on the facts. A member of the Commission shall be entitled to appear and be legally represented before the tribunal.
(7) Three members of the Commission including the chairman shall form a quorum: Provided that any decision of the Commission shall require the concurrence of a majority of the members.
(8) The Commission may by regulation or otherwise regulate its own procedure .
(9) The Commission shall make an annual report on its activities to the National Assembly.
(10) Before assuming the functions of his or her office, a member of the Commission shall take and subscribe to the prescribed oaths..
Functions of the Commission (Article 43)
(1) Subject to the provisions of this Constitution the Independent Electoral Commission shall be responsible for-
- the conduct and supervision of the registration of voters for all public elections and the conduct and supervision of all public elections and referenda;
- the conduct of the election of a speaker and a Deputy Speaker,
- the registration of political parties;
- ensuring that the dates, times and places of public elections and referenda are determined in accordance with law and that they are publicised and elections held accordingly;
- ensuring that candidate in elections make a full declaration of their assets at the time of nomination.
(2) The Commission shall announce the results of all elections and referenda for which it is responsible.
(3) In the exercise of its functions under this Constitution or any other law, the Commission shall not be subject to the direction or control of any other person or authority.Financial (Article 44)
The Independent Electoral Commission shall submit its annual estimates of expenditure to the president for presentation to the National Assembly in accordance with this Constitution. The President shall cause the estimates to be placed before the National Assembly without amendment, but may attach to them his or her own comments and observations.Electoral Laws (Article 45 )
An Act of National Assembly may make further provisions for the purposes of this part.
PART 3: PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONSElection of a President (Article 46)
There shall be an election for the office of the President in the three month before the expiration of the term of the incumbent President. The dates for the nomination of candidates and for holding the election shall be determined by the Independent. Electoral Commission.
Nomination of Candidates (Article 47)
A candidate for election to the office of President shall, on or before nomination day-
(a) satisfy the Commission that his or her nomination is supported by not less than five thousand registered voters consisting of not less than two hundred from each administrative area, as signified by their signatures or otherwise;
(b) deposit with the Commission such sum as may be president by the Elections Decree or any Act of the National Assembly replacing or amending that Decree, which shall be returned if he or she receives not less than forty per cent of the valid votes cast at the election.The poll on an Election (Article 48)
(1) Subject to subsection (4), a poll shall be taken on the day, or days appointed for the election of a President notwithstanding that there may be only one candidate nominated for election.
(2) Where a nominated candidate dies between nomination day and polling day, the Independent Electoral Commission shall appoint a new nomination day and, if necessary, a new day or days for the election.
(3) No person shall be elected as President on a first ballot unless the votes cast in his or her favour at the election are more than fifty per cent of the total number of votes validly cast at that election.
(4) If, on a first ballot, there was only one candidate and he or she fails to obtain the percentage of the votes validly cast as specified in subsection (3), new nomination and election days shall be appointed, if, at the close of nominations for a second ballot,
- there is only one candidate nominated, he or she shall be declared to have been duly elected President,
- there are more than one candidate nominated, a second ballot shall be held.
(5) If, on the first ballot, there were two or more candidates, a second ballot shall be held within fourteen days between the two candidates who received the highest number of votes validly cast at the first ballot. In the event that more than two candidates received equally the highest number or second highest number of votes, all of them shall participate in the second ballot.
(6) On a second ballot, the candidate, who receives the highest number of votes shall be declared to have been duly elected President. Challenge to election of a President (Article 49)
Any registered political party which has participated in the Presidential election or an independent candidate who has participated in such an election may apply to the Supreme Court to determine the validity of the election of a President by filling a petition within ten days of the declaration of the result of the election.
PART 4: NATIONAL ASSEMBLY CONSTITUENCIESDelimitation of constituencies 6 of 2001 (Article 50 )
(1) An Act of the National assembly shall establish a. Boundaries Commission which shall be responsible for demarcating constituency boundaries for the purpose of elections to the National Assembly.
(2) The National assembly shall prescribe by an act, the criteria for the demarcation of the constituency boundaries.
(3) Until the National Assembly establishes a Boundaries Commission under subsection (1), the constituencies as prescribed in Part II of Schedule I to the Elections Decree, 1996 and any additional constituencies, required for the purposes of section 88 (1)(a), demarcated by the independent electoral Commission in consultation with the appropriate Department of State shall be deemed to be constituencies for the purpose of returning members of the National Assembly under that section.
PART 5: NATIONAL ASSEMBLY ELECTIONSArticle 51 TO 57,
both sections inclusive (Deleted by No. 6 of 2001).
PART 6: SEYFOLU AND ALKALOLUAppointment of a District Seyfo 6 of 2001 (Article 58)
(1) The President shall appoint a District Seyfo in consultation with the Secretary of State responsible for Local Government.
(2) The Secretary of State responsible for Local Government may, in consultation with the Divisional Commissioners, make recommendations to the National assembly for the creation of new Seyfo Districts. Appointment of an Alkalo (Article 59.)
(1) The Secretary of State responsible for Local Government shall appoint an Alkalo in consultation with the Divisional Commissioner and District Seyfo or Chairperson of the Kanifing Municipal Council, as the case may be.
(2) The Secretary of State shall, in making an appointment under subsection (1), take into account traditional lines f inheritance.
PART 7: POLITICAL PARTIESPolitical parties (Article 60 )
(1) No association, other than a political party registered under or pursuant to an Act of the National assembly, shall sponsor candidates public elections.
(2) No association shall be registered or remain registered as a political party if-
- it is formed or organised on an ethnic, sectional, religious or regional basis;
- its internal organisation does not conform with democratic principles; or
- its purpose if to subvert this constitution or the rule of law.
(3) An Act of the National Assembly shall make provisions for the better implementation of this section.