EU Election Observation Mission Underlines Importance of Credible and Peaceful Presidential Election in The Gambia


“The Presidential Election scheduled for 04 December 2021 are a significant test for the democratic process in The Gambia. I believe it is crucial for the European Union to observe this election and I trust that state authorities, political parties and all candidates will play their part in promoting a credible and peaceful election”, said Chief Observer Mr. Norbert Neuser during Friday’s press conference.

The EU Election Observation Mission to The Gambia has deployed at the invitation of the Independent Electoral Commission of The Gambia and arrived on 27 October in Banjul. The mission will observe and assess the Presidential Election against national law, obligations for democratic elections deriving from international and regional human rights instruments The Gambia has itself committed to, as well as good practices for democratic elections.

“We’ve deployed 16 long-term observers throughout the different regions of The Gambia. We observe and analyse the whole electoral process, including the legal framework, electoral administration, voter registration, nominations, campaigning, the conduct of the media, voting and the counting, the tabulation of results and dispute resolution mechanisms”, said Chief Observer Neuser.

Mr. Norbert Neuser from Germany and Member of the European Parliament is leading the EU Mission as its Chief Observer and already met different stakeholders including candidates, civil society groups, and the EU delegation to The Gambia.

“After several meetings in Banjul yesterday, I hope all sides are committed to conducting the upcoming election according to the Gambian law and regulations as well as international standards. Our long-term observers are following the electoral process in all 7 administrative area since last weekend. They have already met various stakeholders to inform our observation”, said the Chief Observer.

“We will observe the pre-election phase as well as the voting, counting and tabulation process. The EU EOM will provide a comprehensive assessment of the entire electoral process and provide recommendations for future elections. We stick strictly to our mandate of non-interference and neutrality. Our mission is here to contribute with impartial and objective assessments.”

Around election day an additional 38 short-term observers will reinforce the EU Election Observation Mission, which will have around 70 observers and analysts on the ground. All EU EOM observers are bound by a code of conduct, which requires strict neutrality and non-interference.

The EU Mission undertakes its work in accordance with the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation. It will publish its initial findings in a preliminary statement, which will be presented at a press conference shortly after election day. A final report with recommendations to all stakeholders will be presented at a later stage.

Source: Press Release from European Union Election Observation Mission
The Gambia 2021

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Sainey M.K. Marenah
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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