December 13, 2016
The CSO Coalition on Elections – The Gambia, coordinated by the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP) – The Gambia deployed 124 Domestic Observers nationwide to monitor the Presidential elections of December 1, 2016; the largest observer group for the 2016 Presidential election.
On December 2, the CSO Coalition on Elections issued a statement on its preliminary assessment of the elections including the pre-election environment and the polling day itself which in our opinion were free, fair and credible. While we are still working on our recommendations based on lessons learned for the consolidation of the process, we reiterate our opinion in regards to the credibility and high standards of the polls.
We are therefore worried at the sudden rejection of the outcome of the election by President Yahya Jammeh of APRC even after publicly acknowledging the veracity of the process and accepting the outcomes amidst accolades from the international community.
The CSO Coalition on Elections notes that such rejection of an electoral process adjudged to be free, fair and credible could lead to political instability and anarchy and therefore condemns it. We commend the maturity of all the political actors during the elections and in the manner they have all comported themselves even after the national broadcast made by the President rejecting the election results on December 9. We further commend the security forces for applying high levels of professionalism in the discharge of their duties and we ask all stakeholders to continue to abide by the law and engage in the kind of dialogue that promotes national unity. We call on the international community to continue to engage the key political actors in dialogue and ensure a peaceful transition in accordance with the constitution and rule of law.
The CSO Coalition on Elections is of the opinion that The Gambian citizens have worked tirelessly to achieve the peace and stability of the country and deserve the same atmosphere in the transition process.
We will continue to monitor the process and engage our partners across the region as events unfold while pledging our support to the state and all Gambians in the transition process.