H.E President Adama Barrow’s Congratulatory Remarks on the National Assembly Elections
After weeks of intense political activities in the country, I am happy to congratulate all Gambians on the successful and peaceful conclusion of the National Assembly elections held on 9th April 2022.
Exercising their rights in what was clearly very keenly contested legislative elections, Gambians made their choice of National Assembly representatives from an unprecedented number of candidates from political parties to Independent candidates.
On behalf of my government and family, and on my own behalf, I express deep gratitude to all the peace-loving Gambians who contributed to this historic achievement.
With warm sentiments, I also congratulate the Independent Electoral Commission, the security services, political parties, Observers, the media and all other stakeholders for the roles they played throughout the electoral process.
The election of diverse political party representatives and independent candidates from different backgrounds is an indication of a vibrant democracy.
Yet again, Gambians have fulfilled a vital constitutional mandate in an amicable manner, thus demonstrating that our democracy is thriving.
It was another test of the credibility and viability of our institutions and the mechanisms and processes we are strongly determined to safeguard and strengthen. To our credit, as Gambians, we have got over the event with remarkable success.
Fellow Gambians, during the political campaigns leading to the 2021 Presidential election and the recently concluded National Assembly elections, the citizens of this nation loudly expressed and showed their passion for efficient public services that would improve their lives and livelihoods. They have demonstrated the desire for stability, sustained good governance, and infrastructural development to boost the performance of all sectors.
It is clear that our people wish to maintain an environment that is peaceful, stable, and secure enough for all citizens, which is one of the top priorities of my government.
These aspirations can be achieved much faster if we work as a united force. In doing so, we need to be service-oriented and committed to the betterment of the people, strive to advance and strengthen our democracy, and observe the principles of peace and justice for all. These are essential elements for good governance and progress, which we cannot ignore.
Ladies and gentlemen, based on party affiliation and trust for some independent candidates, Gambians have duly elected their representatives; none-the-less, we expect all the successful candidates to work together as a legislative body to promote and serve the national interest.
At this point, I must congratulate all the successful candidates on their victories, and call on the remaining contestants to join forces with us and work in the best interest of the nation.
The fact that you were eligible to contest is an achievement in itself. So, bravo to everyone!
In a democracy, we must embrace diversity, and it is significant that, as a country, the Legislature works independently; however, it has to be in partnership with the Executive and the Judiciary to ensure that, jointly, we serve and fulfil the development aspirations of our citizens, within a just environment.
Ladies and gentlemen, I expect all Gambians and non-Gambians alike to realise that these are challenging times. This is a period when global politics and instability continue to impact negatively on our local context. We must be ready, therefore, to take up the challenge of working harder, re-dedicating ourselves to duty, and committing enough time and resources to serve the nation, both in the public and private sectors. We are blessed with a youthful population and should explore and utilise its potential to the fullest.
I will not conclude without emphasising the need for us to continue to nurture our democracy, protect all rights, and respect the freedom of association and speech, as required by law. As mature and cultured people, we must realise that, once elections end, we are duty-bound to unite and serve the country as one people.
Whenever we exercise our political rights and compete in national elections, we do so as actors with different viewpoints, and not as enemies.
It is now time to put behind us the divisive politics and hate speeches that seem to divide the nation. This is the time to re-energise ourselves for nation building so that every citizen becomes a winner.
To reassure everyone, regardless of the results of the elections, the affairs of the entire country and the welfare of every citizen and resident here will remain central in my concerns and focus. Hand in hand, let us all move on.
I pray for the continued peace, progress, prosperity, and security of our people.
Long live The Gambia!
I thank you for your attention.
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The head of the ECOWAS Election Observer Mission to the recently held National Assembly election Hon. Mohamed Ibn Chambas, praised the conduct of the polls calling them “peaceful and credible.”Dr. Chambas was at the State House to brief His Excellency, President Adama Barrow of his mission’s observation and findings during the elections. Dr. Chambas described The Gambia as a good example to the rest of the sub-region in the conduct of elections, stating; “The Gambia should be proud of itself”, for maintaining a reputation as a peaceful people, a peaceful country who have delivered a peaceful and credible election.
Gambians have voted in a new legislature, thirty-three of them for the first time. NPP won 18 seats, UDP 15, NRP 4, PDOIS 2, and APRC 2. An unprecedented 12 seats are independent candidates. GDC, GMC, CA, and NUP did not win any seats. Out of the 19 women candidates, only three were elected
Gambians are voting to elect national assembly members of the 6th legislature five months after the Presidential elections. An unprecedented Two hundred and forty-six candidates are vying for fifty-three seats in the National Assembly. Eighty of them are independent candidates. Polls opened at 8 am and are expected to close at 5 pm. Reports across the country indicate that voting is peaceful but voter turnout is low compared to the presidential elections. President Adama Cast his ballot at the McCarthy Square in the Banjul Central constituency. He called on eligible Gambians to turn up to the polling stations and vote peacefully.
The Center for Policy, Research, and Strategic Studies CEPRASS in partnership with the national endowment for democracy on Wednesday convened a day's opinion sharing session. The study on the country’s post-presidential election was shared with journalists, civil society organizations, and other stakeholders. The forum was held in Bakau. Speaking at the gathering CEPRASS executive director Lamin Dampha gave a background of the project and said opinion polls are useful in making decisions on critical issues. The president of Gambia Press Union Muhammed MS Bah dilated on the importance of media in the dissemination of results on opinion polls.The polls can be accessed on the CEPRASS website: www.ceprass.gm
The Independent Electoral Commission on Wednesday conducted a briefing for election observer groups accredited to observe the National Assembly elections on Saturday. The briefing held in Bijilo discussed the modalities and preparedness of the election officials to conduct a hitch-free election. In his statement, the Chairman of IEC Alieu Momarr Njai, gave a rundown of the nomination process recording 251 candidates contesting the April 9 polls. Chairman Njie further informed the observers that measures are in place to ensure smooth, free, and credible elections. The Deputy inspector general of police Inspector Momodou Sowe gave an analysis of the current security.
The IEC Regional Office in Banjul has received nominations bids from seven aspiring candidates for the April 9th National Assembly elections. Three aspirants from PDOIS, three from UDP and one from PPP have successfully submitted nomination papers to the IEC IN Banjul on Thursday. They include Ousman Sillah of PDOIS for Banjul North who is seeking a second term in office. Baboucarr Mboge and Mansour Foon of PDOIS are vying for the parliamentary seats in Banjul Central and South respectively. Muhammed Ndow of the PPP is also contesting for the Banjul Central seat. Thursday's nominations process ended with the United Democratic Party (UDP). The party has chosen Momodou Cherno Jallow for Banjul Central, Momodou Lamin B. Bah for Banjul North and Yaya Kuyateh for Banjul South. Similar engagements are also taking place in all the other administrative regions.
The Independent Electoral Commission officials at Brikama have rejected the nomination of Momodou sabally for the Busumbala constituency. This is the first time an aspiring candidate’s nomination is rejected on the spot in the run-up to the 2022 parliamentary elections. The IEC rejected Sabally’s nomination citing section 90 (1) (e) of Gambia’s 1997 Constitution. It states that “A person found guilty of abuse of office, corruption, or any offense connected with public elections by a court or anyone found by a report of a commission of inquiry to be incompetent to hold public office because of having acquired assets unlawfully or defrauded the State would also be disqualified”It could be recalled that the Janneh Commission indicted Mr. Sabally for aiding and abetting the theft of D14, 686,500 in relation to Carnegie Mineral accounts.
Five National People's Party and one independent aspiring candidate filed nomination bids on day five of nominations in Kanifing Municipality. NPP's Amadou S. Leigh is vying for the Serrekunda constituency, Assan Dampha for Bakau and a former parliamentarian for LK Sabiji Saikou Marong who is seeking re-election submitted necessary documents to IEC officials in Serrekunda. The fifth day of nominations also saw NPP aspiring candidates Fatoumatta K. Jawara of Talinding, Mustapha Lowe of Serrekunda West constituency, and one independent candidate, Ansu Camara of Serrekunda East had their credentials accepted by the Independent Electoral Commission's returning officers in Serrekunda. Another independent candidate Ibrahim Savage was asked to return on Friday after failing to present some major documents.The documents are pending scrutiny after which IEC's Joseph Colley says the aspirants will be given their acceptance letter by Thursday if all their documents are intact after the verification.Speaking to the press after submitting their credentials, all the candidates say they will win in April parliamentary elections.
The Leader of the Gambia Moral Congress (GMC) Mai Ahmed Fatty has presented his nomination papers to the Independent Electoral Commission in Basse Mansajang in URR. Mr. Fatty is contesting for the Wuli West National Assembly seat. He told waiting journalists that he is the choice of the people. Ebrima Conteh of the GMC also presented his documents for Wuli East Constituency. Mr. Conteh said was contesting because the people of his constituency were neglected for so many years. He promised to bring development to his constituency if given the chance. Meanwhile, IEC officials handed over an acceptance receipt to Hon Alhagie H.Sowe of The Gambia Democratic Congress (GDC).