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Sunday, August 1, 2021

December election a litmus test for Gambian democracy – NCCE

By Olimatou coker

Alh. Sering Fye, chairman of National Council for Civic Education, has said that even after nearly five years since the ousting of dictatorial rule, The Gambia is still at a crossroads.

“Our nascent democracy will face a serious litmus test on December 4th, when we   vote in a presidential election, a pivotal moment to sustain the momentous achievement won in 2016,” he said.

Faye made these remarks yesterday during a national dialogue among the security forces, youths, and other stakeholders organised by the National Council For Civic Education and partners held at Metzy hotel.

He said stakeholders to the elections should critically diagnose the possible challenges and threats to peace and security before, during and after the December election.

The NCCE chairman however assured that his institution is committed to continuing to facilitate dialogues of this nature to build harmony among all relevant stakeholders.

The Minister of the Interior Yankuba Sonko, appealed for cooperation and collaboration from the media fraternity to support and enhance sustained peacemaking efforts during and after the forthcoming presidential election.

Minister Sonko advised journalists to exercise professionalism and avoid disseminating information that could undermine peace.

He added that it is a national obligation to advocate for political tolerance to avert causes of aggression, intimidation and abusive languages during different public forums.

“As the country heads to national elections in 2021 in this cloudy political atmosphere, it is evident that there is an absolute need for synergies to put efforts to ensure a peaceful electoral process in peace and security. There is a need for proactive measures for prevention and management strategies to respond to possible political disorder during and after the political campaign,” he explained.

Musa Balajo, a representative of the ECOWAS country representative, encouraged stakeholders to enhance mutual understanding as well as foster collaboration among security forces, youths, political actors, and stakeholders to promote democracy, good governance, human rights, and peace.

“ECOWAS is committed to partner stakeholders to support the process for free, fair and peaceful democratic elections to be held in The Gambia come December”, he said.

Other speakers included Kunle Adeniyi, UNFPA Country Representative, Alieu Momarr Njai, Chairman of the IEC both of whom commended the event as timely.

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