Panafrican News Agency

Gambia Election: Rights groups call for respect for rule of law

Banjul, Gambia (PANA) - The Human Rights Advancement, Development and Advocacy Centre (HURIDAC) in Nigeria and the Network of Human Rights Journalists- The Gambia (NHRJ) Friday called on all political parties contesting the Saturday 4 December poll in the Gambia to ensure that their members and supporters abide by the rule of law.

A statement made available to PANA here Friday stated that, as The Gambia prepares for the 4 December, 2021, presidential elections, the government, security agencies, political parties, independent electoral commission, government institutions and civil society must all ensure that the election reflects the ‘will of the people’.

“According to Article 21 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and supported by Article 25 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Article 13(1) of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and Chapter IV of the Constitution of the Second Republic of The Gambia, 2001, the basis of the elections into government must reflect the ‘will of the people’.

“HURIDAC and the NHRJ call on The Gambian Government to create an enabling environment that respects human rights and guarantees a ‘free and fair’ election, which are a prerequisite for democracy, good governance and respect for the rule of law.

"The election process must guarantee the exercise of freedom of speech and expression, opinion, association and non-discrimination. 

“HURIDAC and the NHRJ advocate for the mainstreaming of human rights protection into electoral processes,” the statement said.

HURIDAC and the NHRJ also called on all candidates to prioritize the respect for human rights and to support an electoral process that ensures that candidates elected will correctly reflect the choice and will of the people.

-0-PANA MSS/RA 3Dec2021