Elections Watch to observe campaign process

Elections Watch to observe campaign process

By Cherno Omar Bobb

The Elections Watch Committee (EWC) – The Gambia has announced that it observers will observe and report on campaign process such as political rallies, campaigns, demonstrations, debates, the use of the media, flyers, posters, billboards, and community outreach events ahead of the country’s Local Government Elections.

The Election Watch Committee (EWC) is a partnership of 7 organizations with different expertise and background namely; Peace Ambassadors-The Gambia (PAG), ACTIVISTA, National Youth Parliament (NYP), Think Young Women (TYW), Beakanyang, Peace Hub – The Gambia (PHTG), and The Gambia Federation of the Disabled (GFD) – collaborating to observe the electoral processes in The Gambia.

It added that it will also watch out for campaign violence within their assigned areas such as the propagation of hate speeches and divisive messages, intimidation, and harassment targeted at electoral actors and other groups.

“Our observers will further report on civic and voters’ education activities as well as the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) preparatory activities for Election Day at the regional and constituency levels. All our campaign reports will be based on the direct observations from EWC’s 14 long-term observers located in the seven (7) administrative regions of the country.”

EWC trained and deployed 14 long-term observers (2 in each administrative region) to observe the nomination process for Councilors within The Gambia which ran from 14th March – 27th March 2023.

The group also trained two (2) data entry clerks that were stationed at the EWC National Information Center in Kanifing to collect checklist reports from observers on the reporting days as well as critical incidents from all observers through the nomination process.

Overall, Election Watch Observers’ reports indicate the nomination process conducted at the IEC’s seven regional offices went smoothly in most instances and most candidates were able to successfully navigate the nomination process.

 “The candidate nomination process was generally peaceful with no major instances of violence and disruption except in one instance in Mansakonko where an NPP candidate was rejected by the IEC for not being a registered voter. However, the party was given an opportunity to replace the candidate,” it also said.

The EWC notes a low number of female candidates running in the elections, as only 16% of candidates are women.


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