Gambia Participates says voter turnout lower 50%

Apr 12, 2022, 11:08 AM | Article By: Pa Modou Cham

According to Gambia Participates' preliminary National Assembly elections report, voter turnout was lower 50% compared to the presidential elections with 89% voter turnout.

The statement that was revealed yesterday by Marr Nyang, The Executive Director of Gambia Participates, pointed out that inadequate voter education was identified as a potential problem, conducting elections during major events such as the religious observances of Ramadan and Lent may have impacted voter turnout in the elections. 

"Without prejudice to section 96 of the 1997 Constitution, the IEC should consider adjusting its election calendar to ensure no election or major election activities are conducted during such events in order not to discourage voter participation. Citizens’ democratic participation is too important to allow encumbrances that will discourage higher voter participation," Marr said. 

The election observer added that the National Assembly must prioritise legislation to harmonise the presidential and legislative elections as this will reduce cost of elections and increase participation. 

"Gambia Participates is concerned that the number of elected women parliamentarians will remain the same in the 6th as in the 5th National Assembly, meaning that The Gambia has not progressed in increasing women’s representation in elective positions since the 2017 transition." 

He said Gambia Participates urged the new National Assembly to re-introduce and pass the Women’s Reservation Bill 2021 to guarantee the inclusion of more women and persons with disabilities in our legislature.