Sunday, February 5

IEC inaugurates WCR regional office

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The UNDP electoral support project is a US$ 4.9 million project aimed at supporting the country’s electoral cycle. The project has already sponsored the provision of furniture and office equipment which have been installed in the regional offices.

At the handing over ceremony, chairman of the Commission, Alieu Momarr Njai, said the event is another key milestone for the Independent Electoral Commission. “The conduct of free, fair and transparent election cannot be done in the absence of adequate resources. Availability of human and capital resources is key in any development process,” he pointed out.

The Commission, he went on, had been challenged with the inadequacy of capital resources, adding that the conditions of some regional offices had been a matter of great concern to the Commission. “Most of the IEC regional offices lacked adequate office space and storage facilities. The conditions of some of the IEC regional offices were left to be desired.”

He said the delivery of the office would immensely help towards the successful conduct of not only the voter registration but all other electoral activities during the electoral cycle 2020 to 2023 and beyond. Apart from Brikama Regional Office, the UNDP, he added, is also refurbishing other IEC regional offices across the country.

He reassures the electorate and all its stakeholders of the IEC’s continuous commitment and resolve to deliver free, fair, transparent and credible elections to all Gambians at all times.

UNDP Resident Representative Aissata De, in her deliberations, said The Gambia has a permanent independent electoral commission that needs to be in good conditions to prepare for elections. She underscored the need for electoral agents to be in good conditions to fulfill their duty in a good manner.

The UNDP, she said is not organising these elections. “What they do is to support these areas to ensure that the elections are free and fair and inclusive. She noted that elections are not only for the electoral commission, but for everybody. While reiterating their support, she emphasised that development cannot be attained without a democratic system which is why they are investing in that area.

Governor Lamin Sanneh of West Coast Region thanked UNDP for their support, saying that getting a good structure for the IEC is a source of motivation for the staffs and electorates.

“Democracy in any country cannot be complementary in the absence of having a very good independent electoral system in the country.” He described UNDP’s intervention as timely; stressing that good governance cannot be done in the absence of good democracy.