By Dawda Baldeh
The United Nations Development Program (UNDP), handed over office equipment to the (IEC) Independent Electoral Commission. The event took place at the election house in Kanifing on Friday 5th February 2021.
Speaking at the event, Alieu Mamor Njie, chairman of the IEC, welcome the gesture from UNDP, adding that it will contribute significantly towards the work of the commission.
Njie said, the Equipment handed over include: 21 executive desks, 21 executive chairs, 42 visitors’ chairs, 14 laptop-computers, 14 printers and 15 internet MIFI Routers.
According to him, the UNDP is also re-furbishing four IEC regional offices across the country and these works continue to register remarkable progress.
These include the IEC regional offices in Mansakonko, Kerewan, Basse and Brikama, he said.
Chairman Njie said, the IEC is working tirelessly towards the conduct of the 2021 General Registration of voters and other key electoral actives in due course.
He added the delivery of this furniture and equipment would enhance the success of these activities and it would also boost the performance of its staff, he said.
Njie added the materials will help in complementing the mission of the IEC. He said the mission of the commission is “to provide the Gambian people with an independent and efficient electoral process that is based on fairness, transparency and trust and supported by competent staff for the democratic conduct of all public elections and referenda”.
He said the equipment handed over them will go a long way in ensuring effective service for the commission. He assured the proper usage of the equipment.
UNDP rep, Aisata De, said the support is to bolster the institutional capacity of the IEC ahead of the planned 2021 elections.
UNDP rep, called on the electorates to vote during elections adding that their voters count a lot. “Your voters are your voice and power she said. She assured UNDP continuing support in the transition of the country”, said UNDP rep.
She said the partnership between UNDP, IEC and national stakeholders in the electoral process has come a long way; starting with Electoral Needs Assessment Mission September 2019, the electoral Assistance project formulation mission in March 2020, that formula on integrated electoral support project titled “Support to the Electoral cycle and Democratic Project in The Gambia 2020-2022.
She said the objectives of the project are centered on the premise that technically capable transparency and inclusive institutions are essential for the conduct of credibility elections.
UNDP rep, urged IEC to ensure the optimal use of the equipment by establishing a policy for the personal use of the IEC business equipment was a safeguard against misuse, she urged.
Speaking further, she appeal to IEC to establish a maintenance schedule that will ensure the durability of this equipment; the effects of which will increase the commission’s efficiency in the discharge of its mandate, she noted.
In a vote of thanks to the donors, CEO IEC Mr. Sambujang Njie, expresses delight to the UNDP for the timely support.
He said as the commission aimed to provide voter cards to the electorate, the equipment has come at better time. Adding during the voters registration process all stakeholders like the media, CSO’s, political parties and other concern individuals will be invited to monitor and observe the process to ensure transparency.
He said Gambia is a country that gives voter cards on spot, the process is fast and transparent.
He assured the public that the pandemic should not scared anybody from collecting their voters when it is due. He encouraged the youths and women to collect their voter cards and vote saying “your vote is your voice and power”.
He assured the proper usage of the materials.