Press release – A thematic election expert observation mission for The Gambia’s 4th December presidential election began yesterday.
The mission focuses on the rights and opportunities of women, youth, persons with disabilities and other underrepresented groups to participate in the electoral process. It will also consider media freedom and media and social media coverage of the election.
The mission is organised by the UK-based Westminster Foundation for Democracy, following an invitation from the Independent Electoral Commission. It comprises three international experts supported by a team of national experts and media monitors. It will be conducted in-country as well as remotely.
Speaking about the mission, WFD’s chief executive, Anthony Smith, said: “Elections are a core process within a democracy. It is fundamental that everyone has the right and opportunity to have a say about the future of their country through elections.
“The participation of women and other underrepresented groups such as young people or people with disabilities is a major challenge in elections everywhere, not only in The Gambia. The integrity of elections is also partly shaped by the media and social media landscape they take place in. Understanding this landscape is essential.
“Providing an electoral analysis through this lens will enable the UK to provide a targeted contribution to support The Gambia in its democratic development.”
WFD is a signatory to the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation and adheres to best practices in election observation. The mission will cooperate with other international observer groups as well as with relevant national institutions and organisations engaged on the election, such as the IEC, political parties, and civil society groups.
The mission will present its preliminary findings after the election and a final report containing recommendations after the conclusion of the entire electoral process will be published in 2022.