Election poster

(JollofNews) – Representatives of political parties in the Gambia have agreed to work constructively towards national reconciliation and the consolidation of democracy, good governance, due process, respect for fundamental human rights and the rule of law in the country.

The agreement was contained in a memorandum of understanding following inter-party talks with the country’s electoral commission.

The nine political parties said they are convinced, that a peaceful and stable political environment, underpinned by a transparent plural and democratic political dispensation, is vital for the Gambia’s future prosperity, happiness and the well-being of its people.

And in an effort to ‘put the past behind’ them and ‘in the higher interest of the Gambia’ the parties have agreed to work positively and co-operatively, at all times, towards the holding of transparent and credible elections in which the undiluted consent of the people will be reflected and accepted by all the contesting political parties and the people of the Gambia.

They also agreed to tacitly adhere to the electoral code to guide their activities and conduct in the lead up to every election to be held in the country.

The parties further agreed to respect each other’s right to campaign freely and disseminate their political ideas and principles without fear, respect freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly and peaceful demonstration as provided for by the constitution and other laws of the country, refrain from disrupting or frustrating the legitimate activities of other political parties, including the holding of political rallies, meetings, and refrain from defacing or destroying the posters, leaflets and handbills of political parties and their candidates.

As part  of the agreement, all parties will organise and conduct their activities at all times in a manner that contributes to a congenial and peaceful atmosphere and will avoid using inflammatory or defamatory language; refrain from threatening or inciting violence against any person or groups of persons as well as desist from issuing either officially or anonymously, pamphlets, newsletters or posters containing language or material that threatens or incites disorderly conduct or violence.

They also agreed to respect the full separation of powers as detailed in the constitution and other laws of the Gambia and not to seek in any way to unduly influence or use other arms of the government for political purposes including the use of civil servants and public funds for partisan campaign purposes.

To avoid chaos and political instability, the parties agreed to accept the outcome of all transparent and credible elections certified by the Independent Electoral Commission or submit any grievance only to the competent dispute settlement agency provided for by law and will accept the outcome of the decision.

Written by PapaK