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City of Banjul
Monday, October 2, 2023

Vetting political candidates

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Governance is a complex task given to some individuals to run the affairs of the country. The welfare of the country is in the hands of these people when they are elected into office. They are the ones who control and manage our economy, our finance and have a large say in what becomes/will become of us. Besides, the ordinary citizens look up to them to serve as exemplars. So, our politicians should be like bees; high up there in terms of morals so as to produce something beneficial for the nation.



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In light of the above, anyone wishing to contest for political office should be vetted thoroughly, first by his or her party, and then by the Independent Electoral Commission. It will be a disaster for us to vote for an individual only to later realize that he or she has credibility issues. This is even more important when it comes to the National Assembly Members. These are people who are supposed to make our laws – thus the appellation, lawmakers, and hold the executive accountable. They cannot be people who have issues with the very law they make!



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Then it becomes essential for the individual to produce a Certificate of Character which is obtainable from the police. The police should not give the certificate of character in absentia. The individual should be present and thoroughly checked, investigated before being given the certificate. In this way, whoever is able to present a certificate of character will be known to be credible.



Here, the role of the media comes in. The media is the fourth arm of government. It is supposed to hold the government accountable. That is why we should pursue prospective officeholders and scrutinize their lives and present it to the public. This will scare away all the bad apples from running for office. Democracy is complex but easy as well. If everyone plays his or her part well, then we can move forward quickly.

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