The chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has told the government-controlled newspaper, Daily Observer, that people in the small West African country “don’t respect local government election”.
“Gambians don’t respect local government election and that’s why when you watch the television, you see me sensitising the people and my staff are also going round sensitising the people so that we will have a successful local government election this time,” he said.
The Gambia is due to hold its local government election on April 4th, paving way for the crippled opposition parties to reach to the masses with their political agenda.
However, political awareness in the former British colony is as tin as a needle: forum on political discussions are rare, because the masses have been living under a climate of fear.
Mr Carayol urged all political parties in the country to contest the election, saying the election would help signal a stepping stone to grass-roots democracy.
“Parties need to get at least a few councillors who will be on the ground for them for the next five years so that before the next election, at least they will prepare the ground for them, but you are a political party with no member in parliament and council. Let them all come out and contest and as the IEC did during the Parliamentary election, we are going to pay all agents of candidates.”
With a small economy and little if any natural resources, the Council has stipulated a staggering sum of D19M for the election.
Any Gambian above 20 years is eligible to contest for the election.