By Kebba Jeffang
National Youth Parliament (NYP) on Tuesday, April 18, released its preliminary report on the recent National Assembly election highlighting challenges and recommending for presidents to no longer campaign for National Assembly candidates.
Speaking to journalists at the offices of the National Youth Council, Kawsu Badjie, Speaker of the National Youth Parliament said NYP under its ‘good governance’ programme was accredited by the Independent Electoral Commission to observe the National Assembly election held on the 6 of April. He said NYP Election Observation team comprised of 45 members who were deployed to the respective administrative areas; 5 were sent to Banjul, 7 observers to Kanifing Municipality, West Coast 7, North Bank 5, Lower River Region 5, Central River Region 5, Upper River Region 6 and the national office 5 who served as the coordinating body that received calls from observers across the country.
He called on the IEC to embark on the registration process before the Local Government election as this will enable young people to register. He said due to the political climate in the past, many young ones were disinterested in politics which prevented them to register adding that many have now regained political will and zeal to participate.
Badjie added “regardless of all the challenges encountered, the election process was free and fair. However, our recommendations include that the IEC should ensure that for subsequent campaign period nonpartisan people shouldn’t be allowed to campaign regardless of their political positions”.
He said most of the polling stations had opened as early as 8am even though there are few that didn’t start on time. He said the polling materials were also adequate and were intact and the polling process also went on smoothly. He said the spot counting also helped but they observed at the collation centres that most of the candidates were not represented. He said this could be that the results had already been known. He said due to this, most of the results particularly in the Kanifing Municipality and Banjul were not signed.