“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