IEC enjoins media, CSOs to help deliver free, fair election

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By Alhagie Babou Jallow & Olimatou Coker

The Chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission Alieu Momarr Njai has appealed to Media and civil society organisations to help the IEC to deliver free, fair and transparent elections.
He said the commission wishes to fully collaborate with all stakeholders in the electoral process, as they are committed to promoting and conducting free and fair election based on democratic principles and practices.

 

Chairman Alieu Momarr Njai was addressing the press Thursday at the Nana Conference hall in Kanifing, designed to update the media and civil society organisations on the electoral commission’s activities leading to the April 12 and 12 May polls.
He said media and CSOs are regarded as key partners of the IEC and have played very positive roles in the success of previous elections especially in the domain of information dissemination.

 

“This makes media very important vehicle through which voters are given the opportunity to make informed choices,” he said.

 

The media rules on election reporting also provide some practical guidelines to journalists in helping them fulfill professional standards which generally include accuracy, impartiality and responsibility.
“Journalists are expected to report fairly on all candidates or parties including Independent Candidates whiles upholding professional standards and media ethics.

“It may be interesting to note that the 2018 local Government Elections would be conducted on two separate days as indicated. This is as a result of a recent constitutional amendment. Cognizant of this the Commission would conduct election for councilors on 12 April, 2018 and that of mayors for Banjul City Council and Kanifing Municipality and Chairpersons for the 6 area Councils in the 5 Regions of the country on 12 may 2018,” he noted.

Anthony R Secka and Isatou Jalllow Ndure both IEC commissioners, reiterated the importance of local government elections in bringing community development facilities such as roads, car parks, street lights, markets, refuse disposal, management of local resources and services.