Salieu Taal, President of the Gambia Bar Association, also part of team of local observers said: “I have visited about seven polling stations in Banjul and also in the Kombos and so far, my impression is that it seems to be a high voter turnout.”
“It appears that voters have been coming out and queuing since 6 a.m. I have seen both young and old people and that shows a real commitment and understanding by the Gambian people of their civic responsibility of voting.”
According to Taal, the only challenge he saw was the issue of voting by security personnel that were told to vote where they registered considering their importance on the Election Day.
“I think the problem could have been handled differently but this is a learning process for IEC to make sure that security officers vote wherever they are deployed,” he said.
He explained that Gambians must accept that now they have been nurtured with democratic culture where voters would use votes to determine the future and the elected person is expected to be the first to be congratulated and maintain peace with his followers.
Taal therefore advised citizens to accept the result and give opportunity to the leader to steer the affairs in the next five years. “We cannot tolerate any violence from anybody because democratic results are challenged through the courts system and we make our choices through voters’ cards,” Taal said.
However, Musa Njie, presiding officer at polling station in Bakau said: “The entire Bakau we have the highest number of voters within the three polling stations because each polling station has a voter list of 700 voters so people are still queuing and we are hopeful that the voting will be completed successfully without challenge,”
Njie added that “voting is part of our democratic principles, this is what speaks for us, this is what we also use to decide who is going to rule us in this next five years. Therefore, we have to maintain the decorum.”