By Cherno Omar Bobb
Bubacarr Sambou, President of the Peace Ambassadors, The Gambia (PAG) has said that the trend for hate speech, intimidation of political opponents, disinformation and perhaps misinformation is quite worrying.
Mr Sambou, who was speaking on Thursday at Metzy Hotel during PAG’s monthly stakeholder’s dialogue, added that lately the political environment has been heated up by political actors who have been trading accusations and counter accusations.
He noted that the National Early Warning System (NEWS) report by WANEP indicates that divisive political rhetoric, verbal and moral violence, misinformation and spread of fake news and physical violence which includes destruction of property in certain places, were threats likely to undermine the ongoing electoral process if they remain unchecked.
The highly anticipated presidential elections, scheduled for 4th December 2021 is less than 75 days away and over the past few months, the Gambia’s electoral processes have been in the spotlight and in high gear.
Sambou pointed out that despite the rise in number of positive Covid-19 cases in the country on a daily basis, almost all political parties are gathering thousands of their militants in their political activities in different regions of the country. He further said that, at most of these gatherings, the Covid-19 guidelines such as hand washing or sanitizing were not implemented by these parties and their militants.
It could be recalled that the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) on 8th September 2021 issued a press release on some important dates on the Electoral Calendar.
The Presidential Election is scheduled for December 4th 2021, nomination of candidates is scheduled for October 30th to November 5th 2021, and the campaign period is scheduled for November 9th to December 2nd 2021.
Peace Ambassadors – The Gambia is a voluntary non-profit peace education and advocacy organisation and has since 2006 monitored every election held in The Gambia including presidential, parliamentary and local government elections.