Gambia: Nyc Concludes National Dialogue On Peaceful Campaign and Elections

The National Youth Council (NYC) on Saturday concluded a two-day National Dialogue on Peaceful Campaign and Elections for 70 participants at Paradise Suites Hotel.

The dialogue brought together political parties’ representatives, youth, women and relevant stakeholders to discuss sustainable peace during the electoral cycle (campaign, election and post-election).

The dialogue was meant to enhance mutual understanding and tolerance among political parties during the electoral cycle, enhance the capacity of the Youth Branch, Inter-Party Committee on their role for a peaceful election.

Bakary Y. Badjie, Minister for Youth and Sports described the forum as timely and comes at a time when the political campaign is in high gear ahead of the December 4th presidential polls.

He added that, dialogue is the best way to address whatever difference people might have at community or national level.

“There is a saying: You must not treat others with cruelty and that much harshly, you must fight others but through peace and through dialogue and through education,” he said and therefore implored participants to use their positions and influence to encourage people to dialogue, to educate each other and maintain peace, especially when they disagree or anticipate conflict.

He noted that peace is essential for our country as it provides hope for a better future, particularly for the youth of our society, who are the true ambassadors of the future.

“As we embark on the campaign and presidential elections, it is vital to know and understand that elections are an important aspect of every society. Equally important, is the fact that citizens cannot overlook the importance of incorporating peace and stability in their mindsets during the election process,” he added.

Minister Badjie further said that peace ensures that voters are allowed to exercise their constitutional and democratic rights to cast votes and elect their candidates of choice without fear or intimidation. “Free and fair elections can only be achieved when peace is apparent.”

“The only way to be certain of a smooth and fair election process is to maintain law and order, peace, safety and security at election polls,” he said further.

According to Minister Badjie, the government of The Gambia is committed to peaceful campaigns and elections and committed to the welfare of the youth. He therefore, advised youth to be involved in politics of ideas and desist from politics of sentiments, as sentiments can never develop our country.