AU Election Observer Mission commends government of Gambia

AU Election Observer Mission commends government of Gambia
AU Election Observer Mission commends government of Gambia

Africa-Press – Gambia. The African Union Election Observation Mission (AUEOM) to the Gambia has commended the Government and the people, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), political parties, candidates, and their supporters for peaceful conduct of polls.

The AUEOM encouraged all stakeholders to sustain the prevailing peace in the remaining phase of the electoral process.

The AUEOM’s preliminary findings on the December 4th Presidential Election in the Gambia, made available to the Ghana News Agency in Tema on Friday said the peaceful character of the 2021 Presidential election would consolidate democratic tradition in the Gambia.

The Preliminary Statement reflects the AUEOM’s assessment of the 2021 Presidential Election up to the close of polling on December 4 and the immediate post-election period.

According to the Mission, a final and comprehensive report would be released within a month from the official announcement of the final election results.

According to the AUEOM based on its pre-election assessment and Election Day findings, it concluded that the December 4th Gambian Presidential Election was conducted in a peaceful and democratic environment and conforms to national and international standards.

The AUEOM however recommended that for the improvement of future electoral processes in The Gambia National Assembly and Government should make efforts to pass the Electoral Bill and continue with constitutional review.

The National Assembly should introduce legal requirements such as mandatory quotas to enhance women’s political participation; and the Government should enact laws that provide for public funding and enforce regulations governing private financing of political parties.

The AUEOM also recommended that political parties should take more deliberate steps to adopt affirmative action to increase the participation of women, youth, and people with disabilities in decision-making.

It urged the IEC to establish a legal department to attend to litigations speedily, and urged any stakeholder dissatisfied with the electoral process to seek redress through the established legal and institutional mechanisms.

The AU based on an invitation by the Gambian Government and IEC, the Chairperson of the Commission Ambassador Moussa Faki Mahamat, deployed the AUEOM to the country’s presidential election that was held on December 4th, 2021.

The Mission was charged with the responsibility of observing, assessing, and reporting on the preparations for the election in line with the relevant AU instruments for democratic elections.

The main objective of the AUEOM was to conduct an impartial, independent, and objective assessment of the 2021 election, in line with the AU and international principles for democratic elections and the national legal framework governing elections in The Gambia.

The AUEOM was led by Mr Kgalema Petrus Motlanthe, former South African President, and comprised nine long-term observers and 60 short-term observers.

The observers were drawn from African Ambassadors accredited to the AU, election management bodies, independent electoral and governance experts, and civil society organizations from 30 African countries.

It was supported by the technical team from the AU Commission and the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa.

To achieve its objectives, the AU deployed a Pre-Election and Needs Assessment Mission from September 12 to 17 to assess the context within which the December 4 election will take place.

The assessment mission recommended that long and short-term observers be deployed in The Gambia, and financial and technical assistance provided to the IEC.

Based on the assessment report, the AU deployed a long-term mission on October 20 and were joined by short-term observers on November 22.

Before their deployments, both the long- and short-term observers undertook three days of briefing and orientation on the use of technology in election observation and election observation methodology.

They were briefed by Gambian electoral stakeholders on the political and security environment, the legal framework for the election, election dispute resolution mechanisms, the state of preparedness of the IEC, the role of CSOs, women, and youth participation in elections.

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