Banjul, November 16, 2021: The Commission on Political Debates (CPD) is announcing the selection of journalists Fatoumata Ceesay and Saikou Jammeh as the Moderators of the 2021 Presidential Debate. The debate is scheduled to take place on Saturday, November 20 at the Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara International Conference Centre, beginning at 4:00 p.m.

In October 2021, the Commission on Political Debates partnered with the Gambia Press Union to identify and vet a list of credible, non-partisan and experienced media personnel to serve as the moderators for the 2021 Presidential Debate. Following this vetting process, Mr. Saikou Jammeh and Ms. Fatoumatta Ceesay was selected to moderate the debate.

Both journalists have considerable familiarity with broadcast and print media: Ms. Ceesay is a Senior News Editor and anchor at the Gambian Radio and Television Services (GRTS) while Mr. Jammeh has been the news editor of a number of Gambian newspapers and is the former Secretary General of the Gambia Press Union.

The two media professionals will pose questions to the presidential candidates over the duration of two and a half hours. These questions will be focused on 5 thematic areas: Health, Education, Agriculture, Infrastructure and the Economy.

The debate will be conducted and broadcast in English on television and simultaneously on 4 radio stations in Mandinka, Wolof, Jola and Fula. All six candidates who met the criteria to participate in the elections had been invited to take part.

The National Democratic Institute (NDI) is partnering with the CPD in the organising of the debate.

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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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