Jun 6, 2008, 6:31 AM
The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) on Tuesday organised a validation workshop for the draft voter education guidelines to be used across The Gambia.
The day-long session was attended by representatives of political parties, CSOs, the media and IEC commission members and staff.
The forum, held at the Election House along Berthil Harding Highway in Kanifing, was finally adopted after a thorough scrutiny of the document by participants.
The new Voter Education Guideline is meant to be used by all stakeholders in voter education, such as members of the IEC, the National Council for civil Education, CSOs and the media.
In declaring the workshop open, Madam Isatou Jallow Ndure, a Commission member, said the IEC seeks to collaborate with all stakeholders to ensure a mass political participation and record turnout. “The conduct of voter education is essential,” she said.
She urged political parties to support and encourage female candidates to contest for elections. “Politics is not only the domain of men but women as well,” she said.
Officials believe that the newly developed Voter Education Guideline is a comprehensive document which when followed fully by the players in the field would significantly reduce voter apathy.
The document highlights, among other things, who is qualified to be registered and to vote, and the dos and don’ts of educators during sensitizations.
It also contains some ideal messages for voter education, such as getting one’s voter card to vote for one’s choice of leaders, saying no to violence and intimidation, saying no to tribalism, and nurturing the spirit of one Gambia one people.