‘Election Will be Free and Fair’- IEC Boss Assures Candidates

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The Chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has assured presidential candidates and by extension the Gambian people that the December 4th 2021 presidential election will be free and fair.

Alieu Momarr Njai gave this assurance after the six legible presidential hopefuls agreed to a 14-point code of conduct initiated by the country’s Ministry of Justice and implemented by the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, IDEA.

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The process is aimed at getting the candidates to sign up to a code of conduct that will ensure a peaceful election.

Halifa Sallah of PDOIS, Ousainu Darboe of UDP, Abdoulie Jammeh of NUP and Essa Faal independent, signed by themselves, while Mamma Kandeh and Adama Barrow were represented by GDC deputy leader Abdoulie Kah and trade minister Seedy Keita respectively.

Mohamed Ibn Chambas the former UN envoy to West Africa was selected as the eminent person to the process assisted by local facilitators Elizabeth Renner and Ousman Yarbo.

The agreement committed the candidates to adhere to the following:

  1. to run issue-based political campaigns.
  2. to publicly condemn violence, intimidation and political thuggery.
  3. to refrain from and condemn the use of religious, sectarian, ethnic and tribal politics in campaigns.
  4. to refrain from making or causing others to make in their names or in the name of their parties any public statements, pronouncements, declarations or speeches that have the potential to incite any form of ethnic, tribal or religious sentiment.
  5. to strongly condemn all acts of electoral violence whether perpetuated by themselves, their supporters or their opponents.
  6. to cooperate with the IEC and other political parties and candidates in ensuring the orderly scheduling of political activities to avoid clashes of political processions, meetings, rallies and other activities.
  7. to not engage in vote-buying.
  8. to take all reasonable steps necessary to ensure the safety and protection of electoral officers from any form of threats, abuse or violence and to assist in the protection of election materials from wilful damage.
  9. to cooperate with the IEC and law enforcement institutions to act professionally and impartially in investigating electoral disputes whether at the polling station or in the community;
  10. to accept the results of the election as announced by the chairperson of the IEC;
  11. to restrain their supporters from resorting to violence in the aftermath of the elections.
  12. to resort to judicial processes to address disputes which may arise from the elections.
  13. to commit themselves, their parties and supporters to the monitoring of adherence to this code of conduct by a committee of eminent statesmen and women, traditional and religious leaders; and
  14. to take the responsibility of communicating the tenets of the code of conduct to all their followers.
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