By Omar Bah
Gambia Participates, a local civil society organisation observing the country’s presidential election has advised the IEC to avoid errors in reporting of election results.
The group has dispatched 615 observers across the country to monitor the election.
The head of the organisation, Marr Nyang said “inconsistent results could destabilise the country given the sensitivity of elections”.
IEC’s announcement of two results was cited as a factor that led to the political impasse of 2016/2017.
Gambia Participates recommended for the credibility of future elections, the IEC should ensure that political parties strictly adhere to the campaign code of ethics, consider establishing a compliance unit that will censor hate speech and other forms of inciting violence during political campaigns and hold parties and candidates accountable for their actions.
He added: “IEC should publish key electoral information early on its website including the list of all the polling stations and polling streams alongside polling codes in each constituency disaggregated by registered voters and gender to aid observers that are doing proportional deployment.”
The group also urged candidates contesting future elections to engage in issues-based politics, refrain from peddling hate speech and derogatory remarks and avoid vote buying.
“Citizens must accept the verdict of Gambians should their candidate lose the elections. They must refrain from physical assault on their political opponents and respect the rights of every Gambian to support a candidate of their choice. Citizens must refrain from publishing content on social media that could jeopardise the stability of the country,” he added.
Gambia Participates also urged state security personnel and institutions to resist being used by groups or individuals to influence the outcome of the elections and urged civil servants to stay away from political activities.