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Britain expects 'free and fair election' in The Gambia

Jun 13, 2011, 1:10 PM | Article By: Sainey M.K. Marenah

With almost five months to go before the next Presidential Election, the former colonial master Britain has said "expects free, fair and transparent elections" in The Gambia.

A senior British diplomat, Dean Barrett, acting Deputy British High Commissioner to The Gambia, who also doubles as Corporate Service Manager at the High Commission in Banjul, told The Point that Britain is looking forward to an open and fair presidential election, which is to be held in The Gambia on 24 November 2011.

The British diplomat was speaking to our reporter Friday at the handing over ceremony of a new printing press funded by the US embassy and British High Commission in Banjul.

The new press was handed over to the Gambia Press Union for use by all the print media houses in The Gambia.

According to Barret, Britain finds the presidential election to be very important, and that, by engaging in such projects, they hope to see free, open and democratic elections in the country, so that the Gambian people can get the results they want.

"This is part of Her Majesty's government's endeavour to promote openness through the media, especially in the democratic process, and this is a partnership with our American colleagues to help the media in The Gambia," he told this reporter.

"This is one of the major things we are very keen in, to promote the media in The Gambia and, in that respect, this is one of the measures," he said, adding that the High Commission is happy to promote free, open and democratic elections in the country.

Barret described the relationship between the Gambia and Britain as cordial, because of the historical and close ties, and for many reasons.

It is the priority of the coalition government in the UK to promote Commonwealth links between the UK and other countries, Barret continued.

"We aim to carry on the close collaboration with The Gambia in many aspects," he added.