Tuesday, June 6

WANEP holds community consultation ahead of Mayoral elections –

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 By BintaJaiteh

 West Africa Africa Network for Peace Building (WANEP) on Tuesday held a daylong community consultation ahead of the Mayoral/Chairperson Elections.

 The meeting funded by the UNDP through the Peace building Fund is geared towards engaging stakeholders as part of efforts to foster peace and social cohesion prevent further fragmentation and enhance resilience within communities across the country.

 Speaking during the meeting held at Alliance Francaise, the Chairperson of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), Alieu Momarr Njai said they recently concluded the Nomination of Candidates for the conduct of Mayoral/Chairperson Elections of 20th May 2023, noting these are the final set of elections for the 2021 to 2023 Electoral Cycle.

 The chairman noted that a total of 32 candidates were Nominated to contest in the elections for the 8 local government areas across the country: Banjul City Council, Kanifing Municipal Council, and the Area Councils of Brikama, Mansakonko, Kerewan, Janjangbureh, Kuntaur, and Basse.

 “This gathering could not have come at a better time considering the importance of Local Government Elections. These elections are being contested by number of political parties and many Independent Candidates. I am sure, this attests to the importance that these stakeholders attached to political participation and more especially to Local elections which are also recognized to be grassroots elections,” he stated.

 Salama Njie, National Network Coordinator WANEP, said the effects of the decision of communities ahead of the upcoming mayoral election is vital for actors like NERG to continue its efforts to intensify and sustain social cohesion that NERG has been hosted by WANEP, noting The Gambia for the past 18 years support constructive progressive processes.

 On her part, Aissata De, UNDP resident representative, added that the agenda of the meeting rightfully call on their efforts as partners in the journey, to foster peace and social cohesion in the election process.

The Gambia, she said has made strides in ensuring peaceful elections throughout this election cycle, “As we come to the tail end, we must strive to consolidate these gains initiatives promoting peace through campaigns, positive messaging, media appearances, and other platforms are critical.”

 She pointed out that the evolving trends of online hate speech do not go unnoticed and call for smart interventions.