Jan 16, 2014, 9:24 AM
The Chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), Mustapha Carayol, has opined that the Commission served as one of the cardinal pillars in upholding democracy and good governance in The Gambia.
Carayol, who was speaking Tuesday at the opening of a two-day capacity building workshop on the Programme for Accelerated Growth and Empowerment (PAGE), said this is by way of conducting transparent and equitable elections.
“By virtue of the fact that all eligible citizens are provided the opportunity to exercise their franchise, and thus vested with the ability to provide their chosen representatives with the mandate to lead them to prosperity by safeguarding their interests,” he stated.
According to Chairman Carayol, it cannot be overemphasized that there exists in The Gambia an independent election management body (that is the Independent Electoral Commission) to promote and supervise participatory citizen democracy.
This fact, he added, is adequately recognized in the PAGE development blueprint as the IEC is identified as one of the sectors in Pillar 4 (Good governance and fighting against corruption).
Noting that the IEC is fully committed to help realize the objectives of PAGE, Chairman Carayol said IEC’s intervention will focus on, among others, helping to strengthen the electoral process and building a highly efficient electoral management system in The Gambia.
Ebrima Mboob, deputy permanent secretary at the ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs, said PAGE provides a comprehensive framework for the monitoring and evaluation (M and E) of program implementation.
“The M and E plan for the program for PAGE provides an assessment of the implementation of policies, strategies and activities outlined in the M and E framework, which aimed to monitor the resources invested, the activities implemented, service delivery as well as evaluate outcomes achieved and long-term impact made,” DPS Mboob stated.
According to him, the implementation of PAGE, therefore, requires active involvement and participation of all stakeholders through regular consultations and genuine concerted efforts from all stakeholders.
He noted that the use of participatory monitoring through focus group discussions, and strategy planning process will help institutionalize and ensure the full participation in the electoral process for improve governance and increase awareness from the general public.
“The Government of The Gambia through the PAGE coordinating agency, MoFEA, and the development partners attach great importance to the monitoring and evaluation mechanism,” he said.
Joseph Colley, director of communication and training at the IEC, chaired the opening ceremony.