A thematic election expert observation mission (TEEOM) for The Gambia’s 4 December 2021 presidential election begins today (1 November 2021).
The mission focuses on the rights and opportunities of women, youth, persons with disabilities and other underrepresented groups to participate in the electoral process. It will also consider media freedom and media and social media coverage of the election.
The mission is organised by the UK-based Westminster Foundation for Democracy, following an invitation from the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC). It comprises three international experts supported by a team of national experts and media monitors. It will be conducted in-country as well as remotely.
“Elections are a core process within a democracy. It is fundamental that everyone has the right and opportunity to have a say about the future of their country through elections.
“The participation of women and other underrepresented groups such as young people or people with disabilities is a major challenge in elections everywhere, not only in The Gambia. The integrity of elections is also partly shaped by the media and social media landscape they take place in. Understanding this landscape is essential.
“Providing an electoral analysis through this lens will enable the UK to provide a targeted contribution to support The Gambia in its democratic development,”
WFD’s Chief Executive, Anthony Smith, said while speaking about the mission.
WFD is a signatory to the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation and adheres to best practices in election observation. The mission will cooperate with other international observer groups as well as with relevant national institutions and organisations engaged on the election, such as the IEC, political parties and civil society groups.
The mission will present its preliminary findings after the election and a final report containing recommendations after the conclusion of the entire electoral process will be published in 2022.
Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD) is a signatory to the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation and is the UK public body dedicated to supporting democracy around the world. WFD works with parliaments, political parties, and civil society groups as well as on elections to help make countries’ political systems fairer and more inclusive, accountable, and transparent; while the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation and the Code of Conduct for International Election Observers establish the basis for credible international election observation. The Declaration was developed through a multi-year process involving more than 20 intergovernmental and international nongovernmental organizations concerned with election observation around the world. The declaration was commemorated at the UN on 27 October 2005 and is now endorsed by 55 intergovernmental and international organizations, which are engaged in the process of improving international election observation.