Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Special Coverage: 2011 Presidential Election...

Aminata Hydara, NYP Speaker
NYP/Peace Ambassadors to observe Gambia presidential election
The National Youth Parliament (NYP) and Peace Ambassadors-The Gambia (formally of Youth Ambassadors of Peace) has announced on Tuesday that they will jointly observe the 2011 presidential election.
The two youth organisation said they will deploy their observer team in all seven administrative regions of The Gambia on Thursday and will submit a drafted report to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) within 24 hours, with a final report due on 26 November. 

“Seventy youth are already accredited by IEC and are ready for the service; they include 40 from the NYP and 30 from Peace Ambassadors. They’ll be dispatched across the country on Wednesday,” explains Aminata Hydara, the Speaker of the NYP at a press conference. “NYP is therefore poised to facilitate its parliamentarians to observer 2011 presidential election nationwide. This will impact greatly in the participation of young people in the country’s political process.”

The two organisations recently embarked on a countrywide IEC-funded voter sensitisation campaign, for which the report has not been finalised. The Voice newspaper understands that the report is expected to highlight in detail various reasons that have caused voter apathy among the youth and Gambians in the previous elections.
The NYP and Peace Ambassadors are among many local and international election observer-organisations that will determine the freeness and fairness of this year’s elections based on “independent” observations.
Election observers are expected to fulfil four criteria in the process of elections, that is, to witness the opening of a polling station; the voting process; closing of a polling station; and the counting of votes.
Earlier on Tuesday morning, the IEC gathered both local and international invited observer missions at a local hotel to brief them about its preparedness for the conduct of election, and provided with all the information they need including a Handbook for Polling Officials, a handbook for elections observers, observers’ kits, badges and Observers’ T-shirts.
The National Youth Parliament of The Gambia promotes and upholds the principles of good governance, democracy, youth development as well as the inculcation of responsible citizenship in the minds and hearts of young people. Its focus and direction in issues of Governance, Democracy and Human Rights is to ensure the full participation of young people thereby creating a society that respect and rely on the rule of law.
While Peace Ambassadors - The Gambia (PAG), established in The Gambia on 17th May 2001, focuses on the development of the human mind. It believes that once people understand global problems, have healthier living conditions, have the skills to resolve conflicts and struggle for justice non-violently, live by the standards of human rights and equity, appreciate cultural diversity and respect each other, and then human survival and development will be guaranteed. “Giving Peace A Chance” is the motto driving PAG’s intervention.
It operates through a rights based programming approach focusing on three major instruments i.e. dialogue and understanding, tolerance and forgiveness and freedom and democracy. 

  • Author: Modou S. Joof

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