Marie Sock has released a statement following the rejection of her nomination by the Independent Electoral Commission.
Mrs Sock’s statement reads: “My fellow Gambian citizens and supporters, I have sad news to share. As you know, I have dual citizenship, Gambian and American. To be a candidate for the presidency of The Gambia, a candidate is, quite rightly, required under The Gambian law, to be a Gambian citizen exclusively. To meet this requirement, I contacted the American Embassy in The Gambia last year, and again this year on several occasions, for the purpose of renouncing my American citizenship. I appealed to a senior US Embassy official with the authority to accept my renunciation, to begin the process.
“However, because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the US Embassy was not conducting any services except in emergency cases. Recently, I contacted the Embassy again as I felt my situation qualified as an emergency case but was, I told that because the building was undergoing renovations, they couldn’t grant my request. They did not consider the matter a priority. I have been asking for further updates without any resolution. I have not been able to arrange a meeting – for some reason the officials at the embassy, were not available to grant me a meeting.
“Regrettably, today 5th November 2021, is the definite deadline by which all candidates need to have produced their documentation to the IEC. Legally until a renunciation is completed, I do not meet the requirement to continue my Presidential Campaign. I understand the deadline cannot be extended since there has been no exceptional circumstances under which an extension can be granted. Disappointingly, this challenge has effectively stopped me from completing my registration as a Candidate, and I must, consequently, suspend my campaign, effective immediately.
“I wish to thank each one of you for giving me this great opportunity, starting with the elders that strive every day to give the Youths hope, the nursing mothers, the women in farms tilling the soil with their fingers to feed our hungry society, the parents with no jobs, and the Youths still struggling to have their voices heard in a society that often silences their voices.
“I also want to express my sincere apologies and regret to anyone who feels let down. I wanted to be a beacon of hope for everyone who felt they were being pushed into a corner to make room for the privileged. I would like to think I have achieved at least a small fraction of that goal. It has been an absolute joy being on this journey, one that I will remember for many years to come.
“I have so many people to thank for their time, help and support, but most Importantly, for putting their trust in me. I am humbled by this. Thank you for demonstrating what it means to put service above self. It has been a great delight working with you all and I wish you all the best of luck in life.
“To the people of Gambia, I say choose your leadership wisely because you need and deserve good leaders. We are all concerned about the good of the country even if our opinions about how to make it, might differ.
“Immeasurable thanks to all those who gave me unwavering support. And to those who didn’t give me support, I still thank you and I hope to earn your trust and support in the next presidential election in 2026.
“To the people of The Gambia, thank you for embracing me, loving me, and supporting me. I wouldn’t be here without your unwavering support.
“To all the opponents that I have disagreed with, it has all been because of the love and in the best interest of our country. Our disagreements have all been, in the end, born out of concern for the good of the country, even if our beliefs differ. Let us now join hands together in endorsing our common commitment.
“My request for you, the wonderful people of The Gambia, is that as I take a brief break from the political arena, that you go to the polls and cast your vote wisely. Your vote and opinion matters. Please do not waste them. I wish the remaining candidates the best of luck with their campaigns, and wish this beautiful country, a fair and successful election ahead.”