By Alhagie Jobe
Political parties registered by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) are meeting on Tuesday, November 8th, at the Kairaba Beach Hotel to sign the agreed content of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) ahead of elections, The Fatu Network has confirmed.
The MoU is geared towards facilitating a peaceful and stable political environment, underpinned by a transparent, plural and democratic political dispensation.
Signatories to the MoU will commit themselves to the code of conduct alongside that of IEC, to guide their activities in general and their conduct in the lead up to the 2016 presidential elections in particular.
The code of conduct includes compliance with the constitution and other laws; respect for life of political parties to campaign freely and to disseminate their political ideas and principles without fear; respect for freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly and of peaceful demonstration provided permit is obtained.
It will also ensure avoiding the use of inflammatory or defamatory language, desisting from threatening or inciting violence, not seeking in any way to influence or use other arms of government for political purposes, refraining from using civil servants and government resources for campaign purposes etc.
A letter signed by Halifa Sallah, co-chairperson of the Inter-Party committee confirmed the signing ceremony scheduled to take place on Tuesday, November 8, at the Kairaba Beach Hotel at 5pm. The letter reads:
This is to convey to you that all political parties registered by the Independent Electoral Commission have agreed to the content of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that should govern inter-party relationship.
In this regard they have agreed to convene a signing ceremony at the Kairaba Beach Hotel on Tuesday, 8th November 2016 commencing at 5:00pm.Guests are expected to be seated at 4”30 pm prompt.
While anticipating your presence to grace this occasion, please accept the assurance of our highest consideration.
The Gambia heads to the polls on December 1st with three presidential aspirants including incumbent President Yahya Jammeh who is seeking for a fifth term. He is been challenged by a coalition of six parties and an independent candidate headed by Adama Barrow and the other opposing single party of The Gambia Democratic Congress (GDC) party of Mama Kandeh.
Meanwhile, nominations by aspirants for the upcoming presidential election opened Monday, November 7, with Mama Kandeh of the Gambiaa Democratic Congress party submitting his nomination paper and accepted by the electoral commission.
The coalition of parties with standard bearer Adama Barrow will submit their nomination papers on Wednesday while incumbent President Yahya Jammeh and his APRC party will follow on Thursday before campaign opens the following week.