The Election Observer Mission (EOM) of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), sub-regional body, has tasked the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) to improve the accessibility of polling stations for Persons With Disability (PWDs) in future elections.
This recommendation was coined in the preliminary statement of the sub-regional body’s elections mission, which was headed by Mohamed Ibn Chambas, renowned Ghanaian diplomat and former President of the ECOWAS Commission.
“The IEC should take necessary measures to improve accessibility of polling stations to persons with disability,” the declaration stated in the preliminary recommendations.
It also suggested that IEC takes steps to develop capacity to manage elections in conflict affected areas of the country by developing special voting arrangements for displaced persons.
“The IEC should work with civil society groups and political parties to undertake civic education highlighting the importance of the National Assembly in Gambia’s democracy and the role of members as the representatives of the people. This may contribute to addressing the voter apathy observed during the National Assembly elections.”
“Political parties should organise continued sensitisation campaigns and intensive training for their agents on the election day procedures and their role.”
Nonetheless, the Mission welcomes the peaceful conduct of 9th April National Assembly Elections and therefore commends the Gambian authorities and all stakeholders for the work done to ensure that the elections were held in a peaceful atmosphere.
“The Mission congratulates the IEC, the security forces and all stakeholders involved in the management of the electoral process. The Mission salutes the great political maturity that Gambians have displayed throughout this process.”
“The ECOWAS Mission wishes to congratulate the winners that emerged from this process and invite the incoming Members of the National Assembly to put country’s interest first and to increase efforts to address the challenges of economic recovery, national reconciliation and consolidation of democracy of democratic governance in an inclusive manner.”