Panafrican News Agency

Possibility of Gambians voting in parliamentary election is high

Banjul, Gambia (PANA) - The Center for Policy, Research and Strategic Studies (CepRass) says voting in the Saturday, 9 April, parliamentary elections in The Gambia could be high but not as high as in the presidential election.

An Opinion Poll Survey 2022 conducted by CepRass and made available  to PANA Friday also noted  that voter apathy in the National Assembly  election was likely to still remain.

According to the survey, the majority of respondents included in the poll still trust the ability of the Independent Electoral Commission to organize free and fair elections.

“Most respondents (about 63%) were satisfied with Independent Electoral Commission handling of the NA election nomination process. Furthermore, there is high agreement among respondents that all candidates were treated fairly by the IEC during the nomination process.

"Most respondents' understanding of the role of NAMs is passing bills and bringing development projects to their constituencies, despite the latter not a constitutional mandate of National Assembly Members,”  the report said.

The report stated that widening democracy and increased awareness were the leading reasons for more people vying for NA elections, according to the majority of respondents.

“Most respondents believe that more independent candidates are vying for NA elections because they have a different agenda (53%) and because of their egocentric nature (45%).

"Most respondents view anti-corruption legislature (78%) and constitutional amendments (64%) as the most critical issues that the sixth legislature should address,” the report pointed out.

“While the performance of the fifth legislature was rated as good by the majority of the respondents (45%), a substantial proportion of respondents (about 37%) reported that their performance was either poor or very poor.”

The report further said intention to vote for candidates in the NA election was analysed under three scenarios.

“In all the scenarios, a National People's Party (NPP) candidate leads on the intention to vote in the majority of the constituencies followed by the United Democratic Party (UDP)  and National Reconciliation Party (NRP)," it added.

The other parties that have a candidate leading the intention to vote in at least a constituency are the Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC), People's Democratic Organisation for Independence and Socialism (PDOIS), and People's Progressive Party,” the report revealed.

 However, in most of the constituencies the proportion of respondents not disclosing their intention to vote (i.e., said is a secret) was very high. Hence, the results on the intention to vote must be interpreted with such caveats in mind.

-0-PANA MSS/RA  8April2022