The second stakeholder dialogue series on peaceful elections organised by TANGO with funding from Action Aid International the Gambia in preparation of the December presidential and subsequent elections was on Monday held at the Tango office in Kanifing.
The objective of the seminar is to promote peaceful democratic values and political participation as people continues to exercise their civic duties to the decision-making processes on issues that affect their lives. The theme for the event was “The role of stakeholders in promoting collaborative engagement for peace during elections.”
Ousman Yabo, the executive director of TANGO said they taught that it’s important for Gambians to realise the need for a peaceful election. “As civil society organisations, we have a stake in it and the stake is to sensitise both security and ordinary people to see how best we can conduct ourselves to lead us through this election,” he stressed. Yabo further noted that Gambians need to conduct themselves in a manner that would lead to peaceful, transparent and fair elections.
Omar Badjie, the executive director of Action Aid The Gambia said there is already peace, but it needs to be strengthened and Gambians should make sure that the peace is not broken even during the intense moments of election. “The stakeholder meeting is one of the policy dialogues organised by Action Aid The Gambia and TANGO and we hope to run more.”
Badjie noted that the event is crucial because the presidential election is coming and will be followed by parliamentary and local government elections. “The campaign and election should not break us apart; instead it should strengthenour relationship.”
He stressed that election is one of the key fundamental pillars of democratic processes during which the electorate have the single opportunity to express their will and power, and give legitimacy to their political leaders.
John Njie, representative from The Gambia Christian Council said: “We as the community of faith in the Christian Council are happy to be part of stakeholders.”
by Omar Wally