Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Who Has The Right To Stand As Candidate In Elections?

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The right of each Gambian to elect or be elected is spelt out in section 26 of the Constitution. It reads:

“Every citizen of The Gambia of full age and capacity shall have the right, without unreasonable restrictions –

(a)    to take part in the conduct of public affairs, directly or through freely chosen representatives;

(b)    to vote and stand for elections at genuine periodic elections for public office, which elections shall be by universal and equal suffrage and be held by secret ballot;”

Hence irrespective of gender, age, place of origin in The Gambia, physical features, or other status, once a person is 21 years or above one would qualify to stand as a candidate for council or national assembly elections as long as one satisfies the criteria that is stipulated for all to be fit to stand.

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In the same vein once one is thirty years or above one is qualified to stand as a candidate in presidential and chairpersonship (or mayoral or mayoress) elections if one satisfies the criteria established for such posts.

All democratic minded sovereign Gambians should educate the public on the criteria that make a Gambian citizen to be qualified for elections. Rather than dwell on promoting prejudices based on ethnolinguistic, age or gender biases all qualified Gambians who genuinely wish to serve their people should be encouraged to stand and be ready to give their best to the nation. When they do we should select the best to serve the nation.

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