Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Pay attention to the election rules: Carayol

Mustapha L. Carayol is Gambia's Independent Electoral Commission, IEC, Chairperson. (Photo Credit: SEYLLOU/AFP/Getty Images)

During the election period we must be aware that our activities are guided by the law, and we must to pay attention to the rules governing our roles, Mustapha L. Carayol tells election officials on Saturday.

The various actors in the electoral process need to know and relate to the kind of behavior required of them, the Chairperson of Gambia’s Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) said while addressing election officials at a training of trainers held on March 23, 2013 in Kololi, a small town in the Kanifing Municipality.

The Gambia is gearing up for this year’s Local Government Elections scheduled for April 4. These elections are critical for giving local citizens a chance for a more direct avenue to get their concern taken care of.

Credible elections

The training aims to carve new ways of improving service delivery in the dispensation of roles as election officials. It is also meant to bring together various stakeholders to discuss the various roles in the conduct of free, fair and transparent election.

The participants include various players including representatives of political parties, security agents, and polling staff. These are major stakeholders in our electoral process, Carayol said.

“Elections in the Gambia should be the business of all, this approach will surely yield credible elections that would be accepted by all the players in the political and electoral process, nationally and internationally,” he said.

The election body, IEC, says it is appealing to political parties to recruit suitable polling agents who are able to read, complete forms and follow simple instruction. Agents, who are interested in the electoral process, uphold team work and knowledgeable about community in which they will be working on polling day.

Law and order

It urges the security services to maintain law and order throughout the campaign period. They must also secure polling staff and materials throughout the election period.

The ruling Alliance for Patriotic Re-orientation and Construction (APRC) has put up candidates in all the 114 Wards, while opposition National Reconciliation Party (NRP) nominated 10 candidates in the provinces. There are 40 independent candidates contesting councillorship seats across the country.

At the Banjul City Council, incumbent Mayor Samba Faal is competing against three independent candidates: Basirou Ndow, Abdoulie Bah and Alhagi Jah. While Kanifing Municipal Council (KMC) incumbent Mayor Yankuba Colley is vying against Sheikh Omar Saho, an independent candidate.

Written by Modou S. Joof

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