11/30/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 11/30/2021 11:37
Banjul, The Gambia - A team of five international elections experts from the International Republican Institute arrived in The Gambia today to be present for the December 4 presidential election. The IRI team will meet with civil society leaders, government officials, and the election commission to show support for Gambia's electoral processes. IRI will not issue a public statement about the electoral process because the team's movements will be limited to the Greater Banjul area.
"IRI has been a strong partner to The Gambia's democratic progress since before the transition," said Vice President for Programs Scott Mastic. "We are here to support our partners as they work tirelessly to ensure that The Gambia remains a democratic example in West Africa and that the December 4 presidential election consolidates gains achieved since the historic 2016 election."
"I have witnessed firsthand the resilience of the Gambian people having lived here since the transition," said Resident Program Director Robina Namusisi. "The Gambia has achieved incredible progress because Gambians are steadfast in their fight for democracy. This election represents another major milestone on the country's path to building a stronger system of government that puts citizens first."
In preparation for the 2021 presidential vote, IRI supported civil society, the media, political parties, and the government to strengthen the electoral process. This support included technical assistance to the largest domestic election observation mission. For the first time, Gambian civil society monitored all stages of the electoral process, including voter registration and the nomination process. IRI has contributed to several other initiatives including the #COVIDFreeElections, #Pledge4Peace and #Pledge2Vote voter education campaigns, through which presidential candidates committed to non-violence. The campaigns included the production of the Bullen Taaye Si Democracy documentary film, a music video, video billboards, and television and radio programs throughout the country to promote peace and democratic elections.
About IRI The Gambia
Since 2016, IRI has implemented a diverse array of democracy assistance programs focused on legislative, political party, civil society, and media strengthening. Through these efforts IRI has contributed to coalition building, fiscal transparency, the promotion of political tolerance and pluralism, voter and civic education, women and youth participation, and other democratic reforms. IRI's support to civil society organizations to run voter education and mobilization campaigns contributed to the democratic transition after 22 years of authoritarian rule in 2017.