Speaker of Ecowas Parliament, Rt. Hon. Dr. Sidie Mohamed Tunis

As Gambians prepare to head to polls in December to elect a new president, a team from the Ecowas Parliament is currently in Banjul assessing the level of preparations ahead of the election.

Gambians will elect a new president for the first time without former president Yahya Jammeh and the Speaker of Ecowas Parliament, Rt. Hon. Dr. Sidie Mohamed Tunis is part of a fact-finding mission to the small West African country.

On Thursday morning, Mr Tunis met civil society leaders to devise means of conducting free, fair and peaceful elections in The Gambia.

The Ecowas Parliament Speaker reminded CSOs the crucial role they are expected to play in ensuring free and transparent polls, stressing the commitment of Ecowas in ensuring Gambia’s journey to full democratic governance.

The Gambia has been undergoing transition from dictatorship to democratic rule following the defeat of longtime ruler Yahya Jammeh by Coalition government of President Adama Barrow.

The Independent Electoral Commission, a body charged with the responsibility of conducting elections in The Gambia, has released the 2021-2023 electoral cycle, detailing how Gambians will elect new leaders.

The Ecowas top lawmaker said the Banjul visit will avail them the opportunity to gather firsthand the challenges the country is facing ahead of the polls and how best Ecowas can address them with key stakeholders.

During the meeting with CSOs, key issues highlighted included the need for ECOWAS to support The Gambia’s democratic process towards peaceful election in December as well help strengthen transitional laws and structures in place.

Rt. Hon. Dr. Sidie Mohamed Tunis is expected to meet President Adama Barrow as well.

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Mr. Sainey M.K. Marenah is a Prominent Gambian journalist, founding editor The Alkamba Times and formerly head of communications at the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) and Communications and PR Consultant for The Gambia Pilot Program, under Gamworks. Mr. Marenah served as the Social media Strategist and Editor at Gambia Radio and Television Services. He is also the Banjul Correspondent for Voice of America Radio. Sainey is a human rights and developmental journalist who has carved a strong niche particularly in new media environments in the Gambian media industry. Mr. Marenah began his career as a junior reporter with the Point Newspaper in the Gambia in 2008 and rose through the ranks to become Chief correspondent before moving to The Standard Newspaper also in Banjul as Editorial Assistant and head of News. He is a household name in the Gambia’s media industry having covered some of the most important stories in the former and current government. These include the high profile treason cases including the Trial of Former military chiefs in Banjul in 2009 to 2012. Following his arrest and imprisonment by the former regime of President, Yahya Jammeh in 2014, Marenah moved to Dakar Senegal where he continues to practice Journalism freelancing for various local and international Media organization’s including the BBC, Al-Jazeera, VOA, and ZDF TV in Germany among others. He is the co-Founder of the Banjul Based Media Center for Research and Development; an institution specialized in research and development undertakings. As a journalist and Communication Expert, focused on supporting the Gambia's transitional process, Mr Marenah continues to play a pivotal role in shaping a viable media and communications platform that engages necessary tools and action to increase civic participation and awareness of the needs of transitional governance to strengthen the current move towards democratization. Mr. Marenah has traveled extensively as a professional journalist in both Europe, Africa and United States and attended several local and international media trainings.

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