Nov 26, 2010, 2:08 PM
Now that the Independent Electoral Commission has announced the dates for the official nomination of candidates, and the official campaign period for the forthcoming presidential election slated for 24th November 2011, everyone in the country should work towards ensuring the successful holding of free, fair and inclusive presidential elections in The Gambia.
The players in the political scene, particularly the ruling party, should know that the international community has now put the spotlight on The Gambia and, as such, any activity that could send wrong signals should be avoided.
Anything that would hinder the holding of free and fair elections will go against the image of our peaceful country.
The ruling Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC) party should be seen to be accommodative of criticism, and understand that the constitution guarantees every citizen of The Gambia the right to associate and support any political party of his or her choice.
Also, another issue that continues to occupy the minds of many, including those in the opposition ring, is the continued domination of the national TV and radio by the ruling party.
Now that it is election time, we believe that all political parties should be given equal access to the national TV and radio, as this will augur well for our democracy.
While the IEC has already expressed its determination to ensure a successful election, we also call on all Gambians to not only end at registering as voters, but also come out and vote during elections to avoid voter apathy.
For the contesting political parties, our message is that they display a high sense of maturity and treat each other with respect.
The Gambia’s political evolution has, no doubt, surpassed the era of politics of violence, and character assassination.
Having given the ruling party its fair share in this write-up, we also deem it fitting to admonish the opposition to give credit where it is due.
All the contending parties should seize the opportunity provided by the campaign period to sell their plans and programmes to the electorate, rather than stoop so low as to fuel the traditional acrimony that often mars the elections.
“The politician’s prayer is may my words be ever soft and low, for I may have to eat them.”
The Sunday Times