NCEE urges politicians to desist from vote buying

Mamos Media

By Cherno Omar Bobb

As campaign and Election Day draws closer, the National Council for Civic Education (NCEE) has warned politicians to desist from any form of vote buying which is against the code of election campaign ethics.

Cap 03.01 Vol 1 of the revised laws of The Gambia 2009) section 2 (2) (1) of the code of campaign ethics 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.” 

Ansumana Ceesay, senior program officer at NCCE made these remarks at Sutokoding village in Wuli East district, Upper River Region during the conclusion of a 10-day civic and voter education campaign held in the form of face to face community sensitization meetings for 40 selected communities in the northern and southern parts of URR.

Mr. Ceesay advised citizen to reject and/or report individuals or groups to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) and law enforcement any time they are approached for vote buying. Ceesay noted that: “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 also reminded and advised citizens not to issue their voters cards to any individuals or group before Election Day, not use them as travel document, but rather keep them in a safe place till on the 4th December 2021.

“If anyone loses or has his/her voters card missing, there will not be any replacement or issuing of new voters cards before 4th December 2021, meaning the person will not vote,” Mr Ceesay added.

Ceesay also highlighted the importance of voting, as well as abiding by campaign ethics and code of conduct for elections. He therefore advised the electorate to 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.

Ceesay further counselled people not to allow themselves to be used by politicians to do actions which are against the laws of The Gambia or do any act that will derail the peace of the country throughout the electoral processes. He went on to encourage citizens to be law abiding and maintain peace throughout the electoral processes, and urged citizens to accept whoever is declared winners as well as rally behind the person and work together for the betterment of the country.

Beneficiary communities expressed satisfaction and gratefulness to NCCE in the content of the  message shared, saying the messages have improved their level of political awareness and will enable them effectively and efficiently participate in the December 4th presidential polls.

NCCE is doubling down its sensitization campaign to plead to all eligible citizens to be part of the election, using both radio, television, face to face community meetings and other social media platforms.  Meanwhile, the second phase of the nationwide civic and voter education campaign is expected to be held in Central River, North Bank and Lower River Regions respectively.

COB/DAJ/3/11/21

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