Thursday, October 6

IEC urged to publish election results on website

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By Nyima Sillah

The Election Watch Committee (EWC) – The Gambia, in its final election observation report released last Friday has urged the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) to publish all election results on its website.

Noting to the institution that, it should include 2021 concluded presidential and 2022 parliamentary election results.

The presentation of the report was done during a stakeholders’ dialogue meeting held at the International Conference Center, Bijilo.

Presenting the report, Ndegen Jobe, the Deputy Speaker of the National Youth Parliament, outlined the key recommendation of the report. Noting that the IEC alongside the civil society conducted a significant widespread voter information campaign ahead of the voter registration. While she urged the process to ensure that citizens are aware of the processes and how to participate.

She further recommended that the IEC should enhance the training of its staff to ensure they adequately understand election procedures, rules, and regulations including the role of observers in the process to avoid any confusion.

She urged the IEC to work in collaboration with CSOs, the Inter-Party Committee (IPC), and lawmakers to review the Electoral Act to address the widespread use of attestation by citizens, as well as institute legislation and an independent oversight agency campaign financing.

More so, she added that the IEC should ensure accessibility of polling locations to all voters, particularly the elderly and persons with disabilities. Added further that they take additional measures to make the process more accessible such as allocating all polling streams on flatland for PWDs, written material for the hearing impaired, and listing the candidates’ names in Braille on the ballot drums for visually impaired voters.

Ms Jobe, also, urged the IEC to clarify and communicate collation procedures and locations in a timelier manner to ensure observers are able to fulfill their role in observing all the processes. And reconsider the process for allowing those on official duty to be given Duty certificates to vote during elections both presidential and National Assembly elections.

To ensure that ballot tokens are counted at the polling station before the start of each voting process, she encouraged the IEC to appoint more women as presiding officers in future elections.

However, Artan Alijaj, the Senior Resident Director for the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI), expressed gratitude to the EWC. He said they will continue to support the EWC group as their next goal is to work with all the stakeholders to ensure those recommendations are implemented.

Meanwhile, The Election Watch Committee which also works in partnership with Peace Ambassadors-The Gambia, ACTIVISTA, and the National Youth Parliament is being financed with assistance from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and technical support from the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI).

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