By Awa Macalo
The Independent Electoral Commission has issued a statement explaining its media rules for election campaigning as well as a case filed against its decision by disqualified aspirants.
The statement reads:
“IEC wishes to bring to the attention of the general public that the presidential election of 4th December 2021, campaign activities are subject to the campaign code of ethics and media rules issued by the IEC.
Political parties and Candidates have the right to campaign and are provided access to the state media (Gambia Radio and Television Services). Each candidate is allocated 10 minutes of political broadcast and 20 minutes of campaign highlights. Messages aired on both public and private media are required to conform with the relevant provisions guiding election campaigns.
In this regard, candidates are required to disseminate message in relation to their own campaign programmes and manifesto. No candidate should make personal attack statements, criticize or insult other candidates.
In view of this, media houses (both public and private) shall not broadcast messages from candidates that may be viewed as inflammatory, defamatory, insulting or in contravention to the media rules on election campaigns.
Candidates and supporters are hereby reminded that other than the approved Composite Campaign Programme, no other rally or public meeting related to the ongoing presidential election campaign, shall be held without prior approval by the IEC”.
Meanwhile, the IEC also announced that in relation to the recently concluded nomination of candidates for presidential election, two petitions were filed at the high court by Dr Ismaila Ceesay of Citizens’ Alliance and Joseph Henry Joof, an independent aspirant.
“It may be recalled that these two presidential aspirants were among the fifteen applicants whose nomination papers were rejected by the commission for not fulfilling all the nomination requirements.
Accordingly, the IEC instructed its lawyers Kebba Sanyang and Malick H.B Jallow to litigate the above-mentioned petitions at the high court on its behalf and will respect and abide by the outcome of the judicial process,” the IEC said.
It concluded: “The commission remains committed to conducting free, fair, and credible elections and solicits the usual cooperation of all political parties, candidates, stakeholders and the general public”.