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‘Gambia has started ball rolling for Africa to learn from’

Dec 7, 2016, 11:48 AM | Article By: Cherno Omar Bobb

The Panafrican Corps of Electoral Observers (CPOE) Mission of Gambia’s December 1st 2016 Presidential polls has commended the Gambian people based on the outcome of the “great democracy” manifested during the election.

They said they have noticed with great attention the courage, patience, determination and fair play from the political actors in The Gambia, who have started a ball rolling for the African continent to learn from.

Speaking at a press briefing held at a motel in Serrekunda on Monday 5 December 2016, Mahamat Souleymane Doukhane, chief of mission, applauded the sincerity and honesty of the process according to Gambian laws.

“We have finally noted with great satisfaction the results issued from the polls, which are the fruits of the maturity of sovereign Gambian people that have expressed freely their will without pressure and discrimination.”

The CPOE mission called on Gambian political class and all national actors to work together for the new era in The Gambia championed by the losers and winner of the presidential election through the spirit of fair play and patriotism; guide the sense of cordiality among the people of “this great country and are condemned to work and live together despite any circumstances”; inculcate the values of dialogue during any reforms in order to consolidate the peace which is the first value for any democracy; work to open up the electoral process for Gambians in the Diaspora for their participation in future elections.

They stated that they were proud that the election was held without interruption (violence, vandalism) and, therefore, hailed and showed their appreciation in the good holding of the election according to international standards of free, inclusive, democratic, free expression and transparent manner in which the results were officially declared.

They urged the Gambian political class to consolidate the maturity and responsibility that the Gambian people have demonstrated during the electoral process, saying that every actor should endeavour to jealously safeguard the peace and national unity that prevails in the country.

“It is a win-win situation for the gallant sons of the Gambia mapping a positive point in the democratisation process in The Gambia,” they further stated.

The mission also said they followed with satisfaction the conceding of defeat of outgoing president Yahya Jammeh before the final announcement of the results by the election authorities.

“We have taken into account all the aspects of the presidential election in The Gambia, and we are proud to point out the sincerity and honesty of all stakeholders during the process which led to a free, fair and transparent election.”

The mission pointed out that they have examined and analysed the speeches of the candidates thus relatively positive, but in some cases putting the traditional peace of The Gambia in question.