By Ramatoulie Jawo
A partnership of three organizations called the Elections Watch Committee (EWC), has trained and deployed 71 long-term observers to observe the pre-election process of the Gambia’s 2022 National Assembly elections.
EWC comprises Peace Ambassador, The Gambia (PAG), Activista, The Gambia and the National Youth Parliament (NYC), collaborating to observe the electoral process in The Gambia.
The NYP Deputy speaker, Ndegen Jobe said the Elections Watch observers’ report during the final stage of the campaign showed that political parties and candidates intensified their campaign activities within all constituencies with no restrictions.
She added that the reports also showed that the final half of the campaign had been generally peaceful.
However, she added that, throughout the campaign period, observers reported violations of the code of campaign ethics and Code of Conduct such as the use of government vehicles during campaigns, instances of voter card buying, as well as the distribution of gifts or money during campaigns.
“Observers further noted the low presence of security personnel during campaigns and low sensitization of COVID-19 prevention messages. Nevertheless, Elections Watch observers reported an increase in the visibility of civic and voter education efforts by the IEC, NCCE, CSOs, and others, ahead of the April 9th polls,” Jobe said.
The NYP Deputy speaker said The EWC will further observe the post-electoral environment after the 9th April election for an additional period of one month prior, to the National Assembly sitting, saying ‘observers will closely monitor and report on any tensions, disputes, or legal challenges that might arise following the announcement of the election results’.
“The EWC believes that the systematic observation and reporting during this period will help electoral actors to provide redress and respond in a timely manner. This will also help inform electoral actors’ preparedness in tackling such issues during future elections,’ she continued.
The NYP Deputy speaker, Ndegen Jobe made the remarks earlier today at a press conference at the Sir Dawda Jawara International Conference Centre in Bijilo.