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EWC Launches 2022 Parliamentary Election Observation Plan

By Ousainou J. Sawaneh (PrinCE OjeE)

As part of efforts to promote a transparent and accountable democratic election system in the Gambia, The Elections watch Committee (EWC) yesterday launched its observation plan on the 2022 parliamentary elections. The EWC will now be observing the parliamentary nomination and campaign as the country heads election on 9th of April, 2022. The event took place at the Secretariat of the Peace Ambassadors-The Gambia in Kanifing.

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).

Speaking to Journalists, Deputy Speaker of the National Youth Parliament, Honorable Ndegen Jobe reiterated that ahead of the April 9 parliamentary election, the EWC will now be observing the parliamentary nomination and campaign.

‘‘EWC observers will observe and report on campaign processes such as political rallies, campaign marches and demonstrations, debates or the use of the media, flyers, posters, billboards or community outreach events’’ she said.

Jobe added that ‘‘the observers will also watch out for campaign violence within their assigned areas such as propagation of hate speeches and divisive messages, intimidation and harassment targeted at electoral actors and groups as well as use of campaign resources by candidates and political parties. Observers will further report on civic and voters education activities, The FWCs observations of all of these processes will factor into the overall assessment of the electoral process’’ she said.

NYP Deputy Speaker highlighted that the EWC is a partnership of three organization which seeks to observe electoral processes in The Gambia.
‘‘This Committee is the decision-making body on all matters relating to the 2022 Elections Watch Project. PAG serves as the Secretariat of the Committee. The Elections Watch Project is being financed with assistance from the National Endowment for Democracy (NELD) and technical support from the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI)’’.

Speaking on the pre-election period, Hon Jobe said the EWC has trained and deployed a total of 71 long-term observers including 14 nomination observers, regional coordinators adding that EWC also train and deployed 5 data clerks that will be stationed at the EWC National Information Center in Kanifing collect checklist reports from constituency.

On Candidate Nomination and Campaign, Ndegen Jobe said the EWC will issue three public updates to communicate its observation findings.

‘‘These updates will be in the form of a report or brief that will either be posted on a social platform or shared directly into emails to various stakeholders to communicate EWC’s findings. These reports will be based on the direct observations from EWCs 60 observers located in all constituencies and regions as well as the IEC administrative offices in all regions’’ she said,

In addition to the three Pre-Election updates, EWC will immediately share with the appropriate authorities any verified critical incident reports or any other relevant information so that actions would immediately be taken to address the issue(s).

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