Guarantors Code of Conduct for Presidential Candidates Concerned By Hate Speech in Political Campaigns

Five Guarantors of the Code of Conduct: the Chairman of the Christian Council, Bishop James Allen Yaw Adico;  Supreme Islamic Council President Sheikh Essa Darboe; Hon. Mrs. Elizabeth Renner; Mr. Ousman Yabo, and H.E Dr. Muhamed Ibn Chambas of the National Elections Response Group (NERG)

Five Guarantors of the Code of Conduct: the Chairman of the Christian Council, Bishop James Allen Yaw Adico;  Supreme Islamic Council President Sheikh Essa Darboe; Hon. Mrs. Elizabeth Renner; Mr. Ousman Yabo, and H.E Dr. Muhamed Ibn Chambas of the National Elections Response Group (NERG) held a press conference on Wednesday November 22nd to express their concerns regarding use of hate speech at political rallies and heightened tensions characterising the campaign period.

“It is noted with deep concern that the campaign period has seen increased political activities and heightened tensions. Incidents of hate speech by political activists have been recorded on our television and radio stations,” the Guarantors to the Presidential Candidates Code of Conduct disclosed.

The Five Guarantors reminded Presidential Candidates of their commitment to aviod hate speech and conduct peaceful campaigns whilst enjoining the media fraternity  and the youth folk not to fan or propagate hate speech with a strong call for all to collectively ensure peaceful campaigns and elections.

“We would like to entreat our media as the fourth estate of the realm to exercise their responsibility and ensure that their platforms are not used for propagation of hateful and inflammatory language,” Guarantors appealed to the media fraternity.

They also appealed to all Gambians including youth to maintain the peace, stability and security of the nation.

“Going forward, we entreat that collectively as a nation, we renounced hate speech, ethnic and tribal bigotry in campaigns.”

On 11th November 2021, six Presidential Candidates, President Adama Barrow of the National People’s Party (NPP), Ousainou Darboe of United Democratic Party (UDP), Hon. Halifa Babucarr Sallah of People’s Democratic Organisation for Independent and Socialism (PDOIS), Hon. Mamma Kandeh leader of the Gambia Democratic Congress (GDC), Abdoulie Ebrima Jammeh National Unity Party (NUP) flagbearer and Independent Candidate Essa Mbye Faal all appended their signatures to a fourteen Point accord meant to guarantee peaceful and violent free elections.

The Code of Conduct saw Presidential candidates pledging to commit themselves and their supporters to peaceful Elections alongside commitments to ensuring credible elections, peace, justice, and safeguarding of the nations democratic stability by agreeing to the following ideals:

– To run issue-based political campaigns at villages, towns, cities, districts, constituencies, municipalities at the regional and national levels.

– Publicly condemn violence, intimidation and political thuggery at any time during the election process.

– Refrain from and condemn the use of religious, sectarian, ethnic and tribal politics to campaign and avoid making or causing others to make in our names or in the name of our party, any public statement, pronouncement, declaration or speeches that  have the potential to incite any form of ethnic, tribal or religious sentiments, and which could impede access to eligible voters by political opponents.

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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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