Jun 22, 2023, 12:20 PM
Tostan International-The Gambia, a West Africa based-organisation operating in the Upper and Central River Regions (CRR) recently held a day’s national sharing seminar
Ansumana Ceesay was speaking recently at the end of a ten-day civic and voter education outreach held in Sutokoding village in Wuli East, Upper River Region. The community outreach was held in the form of face-to-face community sensitization meetings for 40 selected communities in Northern and Southern parts of Upper River Region.
According to Cap 03.01 Vol. 1 of the Revised Laws of The Gambia 2009) Section2 (2) (1) of the Code of Campaign Ethics clearly states that- “Political parties, their candidates or any independent candidate, agents, workers and supporters of political parties or any independent candidate shall not coerce or offer monetary or other kinds of inducement to any person to vote for or against, to abstain from voting for a particular political party or candidature.”
To this end, Ceesay therefore advised electorates to reject and/or report any individuals or groups to the Independent Electoral Commission and laws enforcement body any time they are approached for vote buying.
“Accepting any form of vote buying as a citizen means you are selling and comprising with your power, your voice, your choice and your constitutional political rights - your right to vote and be vote for.”
He equally reminded all not to issue their voter cards to any individuals or group before Election Day, adding that let people stop using voter’s cards as travelling document, but rather kept them in a safe place till December 4th 2021.
“If anyone loses or have his/her Voters Card missing there will not be replacement or issued with new voter’s cards before 4th December 2021, meaning the person will not vote,” Mr Ceesay added.
While highlighting the importance of voting, he called on all to abide by campaign ethics and election code of conduct.
“Electorate should also desist from any form of election related violence such as the use of abusive language during campaign rallies, physical assault of people, threatening people to vote for candidates which are not their choice.”
The NCCE senior programme officer urged all to maintain the peace and stability the country has been renowned, urging all to accept whoever is declared winner in the December 4th presidential elections.
The beneficiary communities took turn to express gratitude to NCCE for reaching out to engage them with such important elections messages.
The key message shared, they acknowledged, has improve their level of political awareness to be able to make informed decision come December 4th polls.
Meanwhile, the move is part of NCCE’s advocacy in sensitizing all eligible citizens to be part of the electoral process, using both radio, television, face-to-face community meeting and other social media platforms.
The second phase of the nationwide civic and voter outreach is expected to be held in Central River, North Bank and Lower River Regions respectively.
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