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Parliamentary Election 2022: Code of Conduct for Candidates To Be Adopted In March

Mohamed Ibn Chambas
Eminent person in the International IDEA’s code of conduct for April parliamentary election candidates

By Landing Ceesay

The adoption of the Code of Conduct developed by the International IDEA led by Dr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas for candidates of the April parliamentary election is slated for March.

The code of conduct seeks to guide the candidates during their campaign periods, during and after the elections towards the conduct of peaceful parliamentary elections.

The International IDEA’s code of conduct would commit the candidates to run issue based political campaigns at village, town, city, district, constituency, and municipal regional and national levels.

It would also commit candidates to ensure uninterrupted and uncompromised freedom of expression and sharing of accurate information, both online and offline, throughout the Electoral process.

The document would also commit candidates to publicly condemn all acts of violence, intimidation and political thuggery and their instigators and perpetrators at any time during Elections Process.

The code of conduct will also commit candidates: “To refrain from making or causing others to make in our names or in the name of our party, any public statements, pronouncements, declaration or speeches that have the potential to incite any form of ethnic, tribal or religious sentiments before, during and after the elections. To strongly condemn all acts of violence and intimidation, whether perpetrated by ourselves, our supporters and or opponents.

 “To cooperate with the IEC, political parties and candidates in ensuring orderly scheduling of political activities to avoid clashes of political processions, meetings, rallies and other activities at the village, town, city, district or constituency levels. To refrain from engaging in any form of vote buying and financial inducement, and to take all reasonable steps necessary to ensure the safety and protection of electoral officers from any form of threat, abuse or violence and to assist in the protection of election materials including voters’ register from willful damage, destruction or theft,” the code stated.

It will also commit candidates to cooperate with IEC and Law Enforcement Institutions to act professionally and impartially in investigating electoral disputes whether at the polling station, community, and constituency, regional and national levels.

 “To accept the results of the elections as announced by returning officers of IEC at constituencies, to admonish our members and our followers to refrain from insults, intimidations, incitement, violence and to conduct themselves in accordance with the rule of law after the announcement of the results and to resort to judicial processes to address disputes which may arise from the elections.

 “To commit ourselves and our political parties to the monitoring of adherence to this code of conduct by a committee of eminent personalities, religious and traditional leaders, and also to take up the responsibility of communicating the tenets of this code of conduct to our followers,” the document added.

Although the adoption of the document is set for March 2022,  no specific date is identified, so far.

International IDEA conducted a series of consultations with all electoral stakeholders during a Third Mission deployed in the Gambia from 17-22 January 2022. The objectives of this mission was to engage all stakeholders in the post-election environment on adherence to the Code of Conduct for  Presidential Candidates; identify lessons and challenges in the implementation of the Code of  Conduct for Presidential Candidates; and explore means to prevent and mitigate electoral violence  before, during and after the coming parliamentary election.

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