‘Time to identify challenges ahead of 2026 elections’

‘Time to identify challenges ahead of 2026 elections’

By Cherno Omar Bobb

Yusupha Bojang, program manager for the National Council for Civic Education (NCCE), has said that it is now time to discuss and identify challenges as well as find solutions to better prepare for the 2026 elections.

Mr Bojang made the remarks during the conclusion of a 𝑺𝒆𝒎𝒊𝒏𝒂𝒓 𝒕𝒐 𝑺𝒖𝒑𝒑𝒐𝒓𝒕 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝑨𝒅𝒗𝒐𝒄𝒂𝒄𝒚 𝒇𝒐𝒓 t𝒉𝒆 𝑷𝒂𝒓𝒕𝒊𝒄𝒊𝒑𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏 𝒐𝒇 Persons With Disabilities (𝑷𝑾𝑫𝒔) 𝒊𝒏 𝑻𝒉𝒆 𝑮𝒂𝒎𝒃𝒊𝒂’𝒔 𝑬𝒍𝒆𝒄𝒕𝒐𝒓𝒂𝒍 𝑷𝒓𝒐𝒄𝒆𝒔𝒔𝒆𝒔 held in Kanifing.

The weeklong activity funded by the UNDP The Gambia and stimulated in close collaboration with the Gambia Federation of the Disabled was implemented in all the regions of the country with nearly 300 participants, mainly PWDs, regional authorities, youth, and women leaders participating in the programme.

Through insightful discussions on key thematic issues, the seminar brought together key stakeholders, civil society advocates, and PWDs to create actionable strategies promoting equal electoral participation for all.

The central message of the seminar was: the meaningful participation of PWDs in political and electoral processes is vital in building an equitable, fair, and just future.

The discussion was aimed at fostering a more inclusive and representative democracy that empowers every citizen, regardless of their abilities.

Bojang congratulated PWDs for their successful conduct and participation in the recently concluded electoral cycle.

He noted that PWDs contesting in elections shows that despite the challenges “we are able to take a step in breaking some of the barriers we continue to confront”.

He appeals: “We want to see more PWDs coming forward to participate in elections in 2026 and beyond because it is your fundamental right.”

Lamin M. Ceesay, first vice chairperson for the Gambia Federation for the Disabled, says the country’s laws guarantee everyone’s political participation; therefore, it is important they are included.

“We face a lot of challenges when it comes to voting and politics in general,” Mr Ceesay said, pointing out that they need policies to be changed and reviewed to be inclusive and ensure they are involved in political processes and also hold public offices.

He also called for the creation of desk offices in different public institutions including IEC to ensure they work on the needs and rights of Persons With Disabilities.

Sadda Njie, assistant regional electoral officer for Kanifing and Banjul, said there is an established committee at IEC responsible for Persons With Disabilities and therefore urged the Federation to channel their concerns through that committee.

He pointed out that at Kanifing, Persons With Disabilities are always considered, saying: “Opportunities are given to all. We do not discriminate at Kanifing. The lives of Persons With Disabilities are in the hands of all of us.”   


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