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Tuesday, December 1, 2020

CSOs call for vigilance to safeguard democracy

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By Omar Bah

A leading civil society activist and deputy executive director of Tango, Madi Jobarteh, has called on Gambians to remain eternally vigilant towards cementing the new found democracy.
“I think when it comes to the found democracy eternal vigilant is the key. We are promoting as CSOs for active citizen participation,” Jobarteh told journalists on Sunday at the Paradise Suites Hotel when CSOs held a press conference in the aftermath of the mayoral and chairperson elections.
He said now that the country’s electoral cycle has been completed and the full complement of government in place, citizens should henceforth tighten their belt to ensure that the new found democracy is well guarded at all means.

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“What is now required particularly given our history where we came from is that as Statesmen and CSOs we should become now active by being vigilant and being alert to participating in national affairs by engaging in activities and ideas that would put transparency and accountability to our public institutions,” he alerted.
He said the government is now expected to satisfy the needs of Gambians “but this cannot happen without citizen participation. So we have to be alert to ensure that the government is delivering to our expectation. We have to demand our rights to ensure there is transparency and accountability.”

Hate speech
On issues of hate speech, Mr Jobarteh said people and groups who engage in hate speech should be subjected to the law.
“In the environment of election for example, the IEC have the authority to enforce the law on people who are engaged in hate speech and any other electoral malpractices,” he stated.

Meanwhile the CSOs have issued a statement on the recent elections, stating that that a low voter turnout is a major concern as it continues to hugely beset elections in the Gambia and may threaten the legitimacy of representative democracy in the country.
Read page 14 for the full statement.

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