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International Day of Democracy

Sep 14, 2012, 10:25 AM

Tomorrow, September 15, 2012 is Intentional Democracy Day. The theme for this year is: Democracy Education. To us, the theme is very fitting!

When people are being educated on democracy and know their rights and responsibilities, then we can be assured of a better democracy.

In real democracy, citizens are allowed to participate and to have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives in their countries.

Democracy is a universal value based on the freely expressed will of people to determine their own political, economic, social and cultural systems and their full participation in all aspects of their lives.

We are with firm conviction that it is important to bring “democracy education” to our communities, so that our youth can learn more about real democracy at an early age.

As a country, we have to strengthen our national programmes devoted to the promotion and consolidation of our fragile democracy.

For instance, the voices of the young people and women must be heard and respected, while hoping for democratic reforms in some areas such as election of our regional governors and chiefs.

Ensuring the adherence to the rule of law is another significant factor for a true and admirable democracy.

It must also be well understood that democracy is not able to take is course without freedom of expression, without freedom of speech in all its forms, including the right to association and assembly, right to speak and write, to say what you think.

Consequently, we are calling on our government to ratify the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance which entered into force in February this year.

As we look forward to joining the international community in observing this day over the weekend, we look forward to more democratic reforms in The Gambia.