Gambia vote won't be fair, Ecowas warns

2011-11-23 17:35
Abuja - West African regional group Ecowas accused Gambia's government of intimidating opposition groups and warned the run-up to Thursday's election was not conducive to a free and fair vote.

Ecowas will not send an election observer mission to the country, the group said in a statement that is a rare expression of pre-election criticism of a member state.

President Yahya Jammeh is widely expected to secure another term at the helm of country he has run since a 1994 coup. Gambia is popular with tourists for its tropical beaches but is regularly criticised for its rights record and press muzzling.

The Ecowas statement said a fact-finding mission had found "intimidation, an unacceptable level of control of the electronic media by the party in power ... and an opposition and electorate cowed by repression and intimidation".

The commission said it had informed Jammeh that it would not send an observer mission "because the preparations and political environment ... are adjudged by the Commission not to be conducive for the conduct of free, fair and transparent polls".

The statement said that Ecowas remained ready to work with Gambia to "create a level playing field for future elections".

After years of criticism for being a toothless body, Ecowas has in recent years taken a stronger stance against coups and flawed elections, especially in Niger, Guinea and Ivory Coast.

Jammeh is due to face two challengers in the vote but there has been little sign of opposition campaigning in the run-up to the vote and analysts say few voters have faith in the process.

Read more on:    ecowas  |  gambia  |  west africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

 
/World
Traffic Alerts
Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Think before you speak is the motto for today. There is a strong impulsive and reactive energy that flavours the day and can...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.