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NHRC dialogues with stakeholders on election, human rights

Mar 22, 2022, 11:44 AM | Article By: Ali Jaw and Aisha Ceesay

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Tuesday held a dialogue with the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), Interparty Committee (IPC), political parties, politicians, civil society organisations, the media and other stakeholders involved in the electoral process on election in relation to human rights.

The forum was part of preparations for the upcoming National Assembly election, and it aimed at ensuring that concerned stakeholders carry out their various tasks in ensuring election without violence or rights being violated in the process.

Addressing stakeholders, the NHRC Chairperson Emanuel D. Joof, echoed: "Gambians will go to the polls again on 9 April to elect members of our legislative body. As the lead institution responsible for the promotion and protection of human rights and  fundamental freedoms in The Gambia, NHRC strives to ensure and seek to reiterate the need for human rights to be respected at all times during the electoral process, particularly the non-use of inflammatory language and hate speech, incitement to violence and the use of violence. We as stakeholders must ensure a violent-free election and post-election period."

The Chair further added that elections must be conducted in a free, fair, transparent and non-violent atmosphere, and that when candidates and parties are aggrieved, they should resort to the courts.

IEC Chairperson, Alieu Momar Njai, hailed the forum, which aimed at making the 2022 National Assembly election a success. However, he told attendees that election is a complex process, which is the business of all. "Each of the stakeholders needs to effectively play its own quota in making the elections successful."

"Whilst the Commission is committed to promoting and conducting free and fair elections, stakeholders are also expected to fulfill their various roles and responsibilities in the electoral process," Mr. Njai stressed.

Ba S. Jabbi, who represented the co-chair of the Interparty Committee, Hon. Musa Amul Nyassi, noted that the event is very timely, as the parliamentary race is just about to be conducted.

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