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 Politics: Gambian politics
 2011 ELECTIONS PROCESS TO NOV. 24TH
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kobo



United Kingdom
7765 Posts

Posted - 19 Oct 2011 :  23:56:03  Show Profile Send kobo a Private Message
1. RELATED BANTABA TOPIC VOTERS GENERAL REGISTRATION 2011

2. THE DAILY NEWS Commonwealth Committed to Support Gambia’s Democratic Processes

3. EU OBSERVATION TEAM FROM RELATED BANTABA TOPIC Gambia and EU to fight drug war together

4. THE DAILY NEWS EDITORIAL: Just to Call A Spade A Spade

"Wednesday, October 19, 2011

If indeed election is not a single event, but a process, The Daily News is at pains to understand why some election observers never look at it from this wider perspective before making their conclusions that country X’s election is fair or Y’s is transparent or even both.

No wonder, it is quite often in many countries in Africa that despite election observers considering of some countries election as fair, violence soon erupted.

Apparently, this point to the fact that those election observers have failed to look beyond recording irregularities at polling stations to put into consideration other prerequisite elements such as equal access to public and private media for opposition candidates and incumbents.

The visit of the Commonwealth deputy secretary-general ahead of the Nov.24 poll for consultations with the government, leaders of political parties, civil society, and media among other stakeholders, is therefore a welcome development.

As she put it: “The conduct of credible and peaceful elections requires the full and unrestricted participation of all the key actors and the electorate. Those vying to represent the people of the country should be permitted to compete on a level playing field.”

If this is a shift in the way commonwealth has been playing its role in election observing and offering other forms of support to member countries, then the shift is necessary and long overdue.

And now that you are here, Madam Commonwealth deputy Secretary General, The Daily News wishes to bring your attention to the fact that the situation in The Gambia, as far as the country’s election process is concerned, continues to be most disturbing and discouraging.

The true nature of the situation calls for a road map to election to be set out. Election cannot be judged free in an atmosphere of intimidation; where the media does not give free expression to all opinions; where the public media continue to deny access to opposition parties; where the incumbent grossly abuses his incumbency; where police deny permit to opposition parties to hold political rallies among other election injustices.

Fair election is directly linked to the independence of the judicial system, a competitive media environment, the ability of civil society to be involved in public life and a political landscape that allows free expression of diverging views, a vibrant and free press, an independent electoral body and an informed electorate.
Where many or all of these elements are in place, then election can be considered free and fair.

But where these elements are lacking, the public will lack confidence in the election process and outcome.

This is not meant to preempt your consultations, Madam Deputy Commonwealth secretary general. The Daily News is just calling a spade a spade with a view that thorough assessment of our election process will be done before conclusions are made."
The Daily News

Edited by - kobo on 20 Oct 2011 00:15:56

kobo



United Kingdom
7765 Posts

Posted - 21 Oct 2011 :  04:37:54  Show Profile Send kobo a Private Message
FOROYAA National News : PRE ELECTION MONITORING BY COMMONWEALTH DEPUTY SECRETARY GENERAL

"After visiting the Gambia from 18 th to 20th October 2011 the Deputy Secretary General of The Common Wealth, Mrs MMasekgoa Masire Mwamba issued the following departure statement for public consumption:

In line with the commitment of the Commonwealth to support democratic processes in member states, I visited The Gambia from 18 to 20 October 2011.

During my visit, I met senior government officials, including those from the National Assembly, and Judiciary, as well as the Independent Election Commission and the International Community.

I also met leaders of political parties and the civil society.

The meetings were candid and open. They afforded my delegation the opportunity to inform ourselves and receive views from a cross section of stakeholders on preparations for the Presidential Election scheduled to take place on 24 November 2011.

I am particularly grateful to the Honourable Speaker of Parliament for inviting me and my delegation to observe a session of the Public Accounts Committee of the National Assembly. In this session, Parliament was exercising one of its key functions, that of providing oversight of government activities.

We noted the outcome of the voter registration exercise, and the fact the Inter Party Committee has been revived and is holding meetings. Dialogue is a key ingredient of the democratic process that we must all support and promote.

We encourage all parties to continue this process before, during and after the elections.

It was also recognised that the Independent Election Commission is gearing up for the election.

Elections are complex and challenging undertakings that require the cooperation and support of all stakeholders.

Political leadership at all levels must work together to achieve a credible process that enjoys the confidence of the people.

The electorate on its part must perform its civic responsibility and engage in the democratic process to further strengthen democracy.

I am pleased to confirm, on behalf of Commonwealth Secretary-General, that we have accepted the invitation extended by the Independent Election Commission, to observe the election.

My wish for The Gambia is that both the process and outcome of the election meet Commonwealth values as well as international and regional electoral benchmarks to which the country has committed itself."
Foroyaa
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kobo



United Kingdom
7765 Posts

Posted - 21 Oct 2011 :  07:22:09  Show Profile Send kobo a Private Message
FOROYAA Editorial : The Non State Media and coverage of the Activities of Political Parties

"The radio programme started some weeks ago by Malick Jones has confirmed that featuring divergent views on the state and non state media is the best mechanism for promoting an open society and ensuring transparency and accountability.

He has invited the APRC, PDOIS and NRP to the programme and has promised to invite the UDP.

Eventually he promised to organise debates among them. This should be followed by similar programmes in the local languages which are spoken by the vast majority of Gambians. We have noticed that what the officials have not been promoting is the dissemination of divergent views on radio in the local languages. Once this could be done then one could say we have gone through one hurdle in overcoming restrictions to freedom of speech and information.
Information is vital for democracy.

Democracy is about choice. Choice is about making distinctions and grading factors to determine merit. This cannot be done without information that is clear. Media practitioners are different from informants because of the time they take to verify first hand information in order to get to the truth. The informer just gives first hand information which may be correct or incorrect.
The programme engineered by Malick Jones should be imitated by all non state and community radio stations in the country.

In fact there is a general notion that non state radio stations should not broadcast venues for political rallies and broadcast news published in newspapers.

It is clear form section 94 of the Elections Act that non state media houses have a right to broadcast massages from political parties. It reads:

“(1) Every candidate and political party shall enjoy the right to use private radio stations and television stations under the contract.

(2) A private radio station or television station shall, during an election campaign period, guarantee to each candidate and political party, in accordance with the principle stated in subsection (1) a minimum air time of five minutes.”

If they could do political broad cast during the campaign period why could they not give news about political issues at all times? We hope the situation would change with immediacy."
Foroyaa

Edited by - kobo on 21 Oct 2011 07:22:58
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kobo



United Kingdom
7765 Posts

Posted - 21 Oct 2011 :  07:24:38  Show Profile Send kobo a Private Message
FOROYAA Editorial : NOMINATION FORMS GIVEN TO ASPIRING PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES

"This paper received a call from CRR indicating that people were going about with forms to ask for people's voter's cards which to him is strange.

An enquiry reveals that the IEC has already met the political parties and has announced that aspiring candidates may pick up their nomination forms and take them to the electorate to be filled on time.

Many people proposed that the IEC should go on air to educate the masses so that no body would feel that he or she is compelled to fill the forms.

The public should know that the filling of these forms is a voluntary process.

Section 47 of the Constitution states that “ a candidate for election to the office of President shall on or before nomination day satisfy the commission that his or her nomination is supported by not less than five thousand registered voters consisting of not less than two hundred from each administrative area as signified by their signatures or otherwise.”

It is therefore important for each voter to see it as their civic responsibility to support the candidate of their choice and fill his or her nomination form without fear. No body should be induced to fill a form"
Foroyaa
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kobo



United Kingdom
7765 Posts

Posted - 26 Oct 2011 :  16:29:15  Show Profile Send kobo a Private Message
FOROYAA Editorial : IEC SHOULD INITIATE VOTER EDUCATION BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE

"Foroyaa has been receiving information that people are going about in neighborhoods asking for their voters’ cards in order to take them to fill forms. They do not know what the forms are meant for and why they should be compelled to give their voters’ cards. The fact that a Gambian citizen of full age and maturity is still unable to distinguish the work of the IEC from that of culprits pretending to be from the IEC confirms that the IEC has to intensify voter education among the population.

Those who are enlightened voters would know by now that before there could be election the candidates must first be nominated. In the case of a Presidential election the candidate must be nominated by 5000 people. In order to ensure that the person has regional following each candidate is also required to have at least two hundred nominators from each of the regions.

First and foremost, if any body had power to take a person’s voter’s card there would not have been any need to hold elections by secret ballot. Elections are held by secret ballot so that no body would be able to influence or dictate how a person votes. If elections were done in the open then debtors would do what creditors want them to do. Those who owe obligation would do what their patrons want.

The secret ballot is designed to free the voter to rely on his or her own conscience to vote.

Hence one’s voter’s card is one’s property. No one has a right to it. Nominating a person is a voluntary process.

Any body who wants to canvass for his or her chosen candidate should identify himself by showing that he or she is a supporter of the candidate and is looking for supporters who would serve as his or her nominators because of the requirements of the law. Those who are convinced would take out their voters’ cards voluntarily and sign the forms. Those who are not convinced should be left alone and not harassed.

The important lesson to learn at this stage is that each Gambian has the same voting powers, from the president down to every Gambian at the farthest corner of this country. No one has a right to dictate what a sovereign Gambian does with his or her voter’s card.

Any body who allows to be dictated to as to what to do with their voter’s card is yet to be a free and conscious Gambian.

You have a right to report any harassment to the IEC and the newspapers with concrete evidence for exposure and redress."
Foroyaa
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kobo



United Kingdom
7765 Posts

Posted - 01 Nov 2011 :  13:22:35  Show Profile Send kobo a Private Message
DAILY OBSERVER NEWS;
Ahead of 24th November polls IEC boss urges peaceful conduct

"Tuesday, November 01, 2011

The chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has called on the electorate and the general public to maintain peace during the forthcoming presidential election.

Mustapha Carayol was speaking Monday at the Upper River Region (URR) Governor’s Bantaba in Basse during a meeting he held with the chiefs and alkalolu in the region, as part of his nationwide sensitisation tour on the forthcoming election.

The IEC chair expressed optimism that this year’s election will be the best among the elections so far held in the country, while assuring that it will be free, fair and transparent. He said the country is peaceful, therefore people should equally maintain peace and stability before, during and after the election.

He reminded the people that the nomination is on the 10th of November, while campaigning will be from the 12th- 22nd November, 2011.
He explained that during the nomination, all candidates are allowed to enter the Election House with only 300 militants and 10 people into the nomination room.

Carayol stressed that party symbols are strictly disallowed on election day at the polling station until after the results are announced. He also said that results will be announced early enough, considering the increase in the number of polling stations.

“Gambia’s election is very unique in the sense that no one can rig it,” he said, pointing out that all parties have agents both at the polling stations and counting centres. He also reminded them that someone is qualified to vote only where he or she is registered.

The IEC chairman urged the alkalolu to allow all the parties to campaign in their villages, even if they don’t support them, as this is what democracy is all about.

“We want an election free of violence because we have seen what is happening in other countries but we in The Gambia should nurture the peace that God has given us,” he added, noting that many observers from outside are coming to observe the election, notably the Carter Foundation, Non-Alliance Movement, among others.

He finally urged the alkalolu to help in accommodating those coming for the election duties. Carayol also assured that there will be equal media coverage on the national TV for all parties, as well as tight security. He finally disclosed that polling stations will close by 4pm [on election day].

The meeting also created another platform for alkalolu to ask questions, which were clarified by the IEC boss. For his part, the governor of URR, Alhaji Omar Khan thanked the IEC boss for coming to his region to have a meeting with alkalolu and chiefs concerning the election. He urged them to disseminate the information to their people.

He also called for the maintenance of peace before, during and after election, while stressing that politics does not call for hatred or violence.


Author: Alieu Ceesay in Basse, URR"
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kobo



United Kingdom
7765 Posts

Posted - 01 Nov 2011 :  17:03:55  Show Profile Send kobo a Private Message
THE `PONT NEWS EDITORIAL: Rising hopes for a level playing field

"Tuesday, November 01, 2011

The build up to the forthcoming presidential election, due in three weeks’ time, seen increasing evidence of one-sided use of the public media to promote the ruling APRC at the expense of the opposition, which is definitely not a good omen for free and fair elections.

However, it seems we are now seeing a difference as the Gambia Radio and Television Services (GRTS) is broadcasting political rallies of the opposition parties and hosting leaders from the opposition in its Weekend Upbeat programme on GRTS radio.

When leaders of the opposition complained of lack of access to state media at a press conference hosted by the Independent Electoral Commission held last month, they were assured by the chairman of the commission that this will now be a thing of the past. He promised to hold a meeting with the management of GRTS on the issue.

And with that promise, many people including opposition party leaders were optimistic about its implications on the country’s political terrain.

Since then, it is becoming quite reassuring that the actions of GRTS so far seem to match with what was agreed, and we hope that it continues, even after the elections, because the unfair use of the facilities of the public media by only one political party will be in complete variance with what the IEC wants in order to ensure a level playing field.

For instance, hearing about activities of the APRC being given wide coverage virtually on a daily basis, including reports of people crossing carpet from the opposition to the APRC, while nothing is ever heard about the opposition will, no doubt, be very unfair to the opposition.

It will certainly be untrue that the opposition is not doing anything, or that no one ever leaves the APRC to join the opposition.
The very fact that such news is never carried by GRTS is an indication of the biasness of the public media in favour of the APRC, which is certainly a bad omen for a level political playing field.

The Constitution of the Republic of The Gambia guarantees divergent views to be carried in the public media, and everything that will promote that should be encouraged.

It is in that light that we would also like to commend the management of Teranga FM, a community-based radio station, for its effort of promoting the expression of divergent views, especially as we approach the polls.

Since the past two weeks, the community radio has been hosting political party leaders on debates on a wide range of issues relating to the polls.

This will, no doubt, boost the image of the country as a nation where democracy prevail.


As we have always emphasized on these pages, in the build-up to the polls, journalists must learn to conceal their political affiliations and stick at all times to objectivity and balance in their reporting.
All political parties must also be given equal coverage, in both the private and public media.

Selective coverage is anti-thetical to the spirit of good journalism and democracy.

“The highest result of education is tolerance”

Helen Keller"
The Point
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kobo



United Kingdom
7765 Posts

Posted - 02 Nov 2011 :  23:20:45  Show Profile Send kobo a Private Message
DAILY OBSERVER EDITORIAL Towards a peaceful election
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kobo



United Kingdom
7765 Posts

Posted - 14 Nov 2011 :  15:26:39  Show Profile Send kobo a Private Message
DAILY OBSERVER NATIONAL NEWS;

FOROYAA AND NATIONAL NEWS EDITORIAL;

RELATED BANTABA TOPICS;

Edited by - kobo on 14 Nov 2011 15:38:04
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kobo



United Kingdom
7765 Posts

Posted - 15 Nov 2011 :  12:12:54  Show Profile Send kobo a Private Message
THE POINT NEWS EDITORIALS;

DAILY OBSERVER NATIONAL NEWS;


Edited by - kobo on 15 Nov 2011 12:27:45
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kobo



United Kingdom
7765 Posts

Posted - 15 Nov 2011 :  15:15:25  Show Profile Send kobo a Private Message
THE POINT NATIONAL NEWS AND EDITORIALS;

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toubab1020



8928 Posts

Posted - 15 Nov 2011 :  15:26:22  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message
http://thepoint.gm/africa/gambia/article/presidential-term-limit-needed

Seriously Kobo,an excellent idea,will it ever happen in any African Republic ?

OF COURSE NOT !

There are apparently exceptions,as the following US web page shows,but its archived material only.

http://blogs.america.gov/bythepeople/2009/06/29/presidential-term-limits-for-african-countries/


"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.

Edited by - toubab1020 on 15 Nov 2011 15:40:11
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kobo



United Kingdom
7765 Posts

Posted - 15 Nov 2011 :  15:30:54  Show Profile Send kobo a Private Message
MAAFANTA.COM WITH D.A.JAWO COMMENTARY AND MUSA DRAMMEH'S N24 VOICE FOR CHANGE;

FREEDOM ON-LINE NEWS EDITORIAL;

Edited by - kobo on 15 Nov 2011 15:49:26
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kobo



United Kingdom
7765 Posts

Posted - 16 Nov 2011 :  20:46:11  Show Profile Send kobo a Private Message
THE DAILY NEWS EDITORIAL;

THE POINT NEWS EDITORIAL;

FOROYAA NEWS EDITORIAL;

Edited by - kobo on 16 Nov 2011 20:51:09
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kobo



United Kingdom
7765 Posts

Posted - 18 Nov 2011 :  01:10:09  Show Profile Send kobo a Private Message
DAILY OBSERVER NATIONAL NEWS;

THE POINT NATIONAL NEWS AND EDITORIALS;

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toubab1020



8928 Posts

Posted - 18 Nov 2011 :  02:03:38  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message
Kobo has been unable to answer my questions about the Gambian voting system,except to say that Observers have arrived,very good how many? one two three, enough to cover the country? the rest of the technical questions have been consigned to the too difficult draw which has been closed,come on some politico her can tell us the answers.

Kobo,just a thought,all very exciting BUT are there any observers from outside the country to verify that the WHOLE process of the election was fair and above board,?
Who for instance counts the votes?
Who sees that ALL the votes arrive ?
Who sees that ALL the ballot boxes are sealed?
Who is the senior official at each polling place?
Where will all the votes be counted ?
When will the votes be counted?
Will any independent observers be at the count?

Perhaps these things have not been thought about with all the campaigning going on in the last few weeks,I have seen none of these questions addressed,there again I could have missed something

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.

Edited by - toubab1020 on 19 Nov 2011 11:57:33
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