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Saturday, September 19, 2020

Efforts intensified to put youths in parliament

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By Samsideen Ceesay A youth civil society movement campaign-Not Too Young to Run—Wednesday convened a press conference to brief journalists on the movement’s readiness to push youths to run parliamentary seats. The press briefing was held at NEDI office along Kairaba Avenue. According to organisers, the movement encourages youth participation in the democratic processes and intends to replicate that in the upcoming April 6th National Assembly election. Speaking at the press conference, the program manager, NYC, Alagie Jarju, said: “The council, as part of its responsibilities, provided technical support that is needed to start the process. Part of the broad policy objectives of the revised national youth policy 2015/2018 is to promote youth participation in the democratic process. “We want to be well represented at the national assembly; that’s where the decision is taken and is important we have young people at the national assembly. If we are represented by other people the narrative might be different.” Muhammed Lamin Saidykhan, national coordinator, ACTIVISTA-The Gambia, said: “The whole process has been an aspiration of the young people in the country that we need to take up the mantle of leadership; we need to be there, we have proven to the world that if we want to change, we can do it and we have brought change in this country. “The victory the Gambia is enjoying today has been made possible by the young people and the social media. The drivers of the social media are the young people. The world is moving faster and development is progressing. “We constitute more than 60%of the population; we can make a difference. We voted change in the presidential election. We should move on in order to participate this year’s parliamentary election in order to take up the mantle of leadership.” He added: “We have a budget of ten million to support twenty (20) candidates. We want the young people to take part in the national cake”. Speaking earlier, Baboucarr Kebbeh, communications youth movement Not Too Young To Run Campaign said: “We have young people from national youth organisation that are already in the national youth council and other civil organisation that come together to promote a common agenda in empowering young people to take up public offices and to hold government accountable.” Mbassy Manneh, Chairperson Activista-KM, said efforts have been made around the world to promote the rights of young people running for public office and leadership positions by seeking to lower the legal age of candidacy. “In 2007, a campaign entitled ‘How Old is Old Enough’ lowered the age of candidacy requirement in England, Wales, and Scotland from 21 to 18, in line with the voting age. In Turkey, young people lobbied the government to reduce the age of candidacy for Parliament from 30 to 25 years in 2006. In Nigeria, the ‘Not Too Young to Run’ campaign has embarked on a mission to address age discrimination in candidacy for the legislative and executive branches, and serves as inspiration for the global campaign,” she said.]]>

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