#Article (Archive)

IEC boss's point is pertinent

Nov 2, 2010, 11:00 AM

The point raised by the Chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission about the calls in some quarters for "No Elections" in the country, in his presentation at the just-concluded four-day outreach forum for members of the National Assembly, could not have been made at any better time than now.

The IEC Chairman argued that the demand for a “no election” is a non-starter, and should be discouraged in all its forms, for the betterment of the much-needed development of this country.

What can be more truthful, given the fact that open, free, fair, and regular elections are indispensable to any democracratic dispensation.

In any case, Gambians should bear in mind that the essence of our chosen form of political system is that it is the people who decide how they want to be governed.

All too often, we hear about tensions and clashes across the continent, most of which occur over holding elections, and the manner in which they were held.

Needless to say, this unfortunate state of affairs could be avoided, if only citizens of most African states are allowed to exercise their right to vote, and to choose their leaders freely and fairly.

We hope and pray that Gambians, especially the youth, who are the future leaders of this country, would give consideration to the concerns of the IEC Chairman.

We should understand that elections are a crucial means by which democratic institutions represent the will of the people for government action.

We should also understand that there could not be any genuine democracy without the holding of not only elections, but free, fair and transparent elections for that matter.

As such, it is time that we put a stop to the demand for "No Elections", simply because it is contrary to the Elections Decree, by what is stated in the constitution, which is the supreme law of this nation.

Elections provide a means by which the people can express their judgement on the work of government.

We quite agree with the IEC boss that elections are very popular nowadays, not only in the first world, but also in the developing countries, where holding free, fair and regular elections is a precondition for most, if not all, development partners’ interventions.

Indeed, those who call for “No Election” must be reminded that regular public elections provide the basis for the authority to govern in a modern democratic state.

"An election tells how many of your supporters are alive, and a war tells how many are willing to be dead"