By Ousainou J. Sawaneh (PrinCE OjeE)
Speaking to the Journalists this morning at a press conference at the Sir. Dawda Kairaba International Conference Center in Bijilo, the Deputy Speaker of the National Youth Parliament and Member of the Elections Watch Committee, Ndegen Jobe said campaigns should be contested based on a candidates’ skills, ideas and ability to lead the country, and not based on their ability to purchase the most votes or the exploitation of public resources
According to DS Jobe, this update contains observation findings covering the Independent Electoral Commission’s official campaign period from 27th March to 6th April 2022.
She added that EWC observers has reported Code of Conduct violations including instances of voter’s cards buying by political parties and the use of hate speech or inflammatory language during campaign rallies.
She said that the observers also reported the use of government vehicles for campaign as well as distribution of money and gift items to voters during campaigns.
Ndegen Jobe said use of state resources during campaigns and buying of voters’ cards create an unlevelled playing field during any electoral process.
“Campaign violations such as the use of state resources during campaigns, buy of voters cards or the distribution of gifts or money create an unlevelled playing field during any electoral process, thereby diluting the premise that political ” she said
On the election day observation and deployment strategy, she said the EWC plans to deploy 410 election day observers for the 9th April National Assembly elections.
“The EWC has trained and deployed 410 accredited election day observers for the 9th April 2022 National Assembly elections. This includes 300 stationary polling streams observers, 50 mobile observers, 53 constituency supervisors, and 7 regional coordinators” she said
The Elections Watch Committee commends all citizens and political actors of The Gambia for their continuing commitment to a peaceful election process.
The election watch projection seeks to facilitate a well-coordinated and organized mechanism of observation of the 2022 parliamentary election process. And thereby promoting a transparent and accountable democratic system in the Gambia.
The Elections Watch Committee is a partnership of three organizations and other network members with different expertise and background collaborating to observe electoral processes in The Gambia. The Elections Watch Committee includes the Peace Ambassadors-The Gambia (PAG), ACTIVISTA and the National Youth Parliament (NYP).