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Elections Watch Committee Reports on 2022 Local Government By-Election

By Ousainou J. Sawaneh (PrinCE OjeE)

The Elections Watch Committee on Monday, 16th May, 2022 release its preliminary report on the just concluded local government by-elections held in four Wards in the Kanifing and Brikama Administrative Area over the weekend.

The Elections Watch Committee is a partnership of 3 organizations and other network members with different expertise and background collaborating to observe elections in The Gambia. The Elections Watch Committee includes the Peace Ambassadors-The Gambia (PAG), ACTIVISTA and the National Youth Parliament (NYP).

Speaking to journalists, Ndegen Jobe, Deputy Speaker of the National Youth Parliament stated that the preliminary statement is based on reports that the Elections Watch Committee has received and 53 stationary observers deployed to polling streams across the four wards.
Jobe added that the EWC has observed key aspects of the electoral process beginning with the campaign period and has released it’s finding about the pre-election environment and issued recommendations to election stakeholders.
“Overall, the Elections Watch Observers’ reports during the campaign show that political parties and candidates conducted their campaign activities within the four wards with no restrictions” she said

She further said that the preliminary statement focuses on the voting, closing, and counting process adding that it also reflects reports from EWC’s observers deployed to the observe the collation process conducted at the collation centers.

On the Recommendations
Jobe said political parties and candidates should utilize the prescribed legal process to pursue any complaints or grievances adding that for future elections, ensure that party agents are trained on election procedures and understand their role in observing the voting and counting process.

To the IEC, DS Jobe said the Independent Electoral Commission should publicly provide polling stream level results in a machine- readable format in a timely manner as a measure of transparency adding that this should include the results of the presidential and Parliamentary elections which she said has still not been published on the IEC’s website.

She said the IEC should ensure that all polling locations are accessible to all voters, particularly the elderly and persons with disabilities.

To the Media, she said the media should continue to demonstrate professionalism in its reportage and ensure citizens continue to receive accurate information about the election process. While recommending that the security forces to continue to demonstrate neutrality and professionalism in dealing with electoral related matters.

She further assured that the Elections Watch Committee will subsequently release a comprehensive observation report that will capture recommendations for future electoral process.

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