Date set for Gambia parliamentary vote
Banjul - The head of Gambia's Independent Electoral Commission said on Tuesday that parliamentary elections will take place on March 29 next year.
"I wish to announce that National Assembly Elections will be held on the 29th March 2012. This is in consonance with Section 96 subsection of the Constitution of the Gambia," Mustapha Carayol said in a statement.
The announcement came shortly after the commission held a press conference to announce a reduction in the general voter list.
The latest figure, of 796 929 voters who registered in a recent nation-wide campaign, was cut from an earlier announced figure of 837 039 due to counting errors.
The electoral commission chairperson also announced that nomination dates for the legislative polls will be from March 08 to 10, while official campaigning will be held between March 14 and 27.
Gambia is due to hold presidential elections on November 24 this year, with voters casting their ballots at 1 301 polling stations countrywide..
Incumbent President Yahya Jammeh, who seized power in July 1994 in a bloodless coup and is seeking a fourth term, has vowed not to engage his party in any electoral campaigning as he was confident that he would be re-elected.
Out of a total 53 seats in parliament, Jammeh's ruling Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC) party has 48, while the opposition has only three seats and there is one independent candidate.
Five opposition parties will go up against Jammeh, who is said to rule the nation with an iron fist, and analysts say they have no choice to unite if they hope to unseat him.
However the opposition remains divided over who will lead a possible alliance.
Despite serious criticism against him, Jammeh is credited with bringing development, roads and schools to the country during the past 17 years.