For the purpose of these guidelines, observation means the verification of the various stages of the electoral process by International Organisations, NGOs, Foreign Governments, Foreign and Local Personalities duly recognised for that purpose.
- Objective of Observation
To ascertain the fairness and freeness of the elections and render credibility to the eventual results of the election to both the National and International Community.
- Scope of the Observation
An accredited person or group shall endeavour to look at various aspects of the election processes and come out with a fair judgement. The scope may cover the following:
- Observing and verifying the impartiality and legality of decisions taken by the Electoral Commission and its officers.
- Ascertaining people’s awareness of the election processes.
- By studying people’s participation in the campaign programmes.
- By studying the ease of advocacy with which those access the public.
- Observing and verifying the voting process as provided by the law i.e.
- Opening of polls
- Voting materials – quantities, timeliness
- Conduciveness of polling atmosphere
- Efficiency of the polling staff
- Casting of votes
- Counting of votes
- Transmission and declaration of results
- Obligation of Observers
Observers shall be obliged:
- To respect and abide by the constitution and the laws of The Gambia;
- To exercise their role with impartiality, independence and objectivity;
- Not to allow their personal opinions, likes or dislikes to influence their work;
- Not to directly or indirectly propagate or identify themselves with any candidate;
- Not to display or wear any partisan symbols, colours or banners;
- To carry identification that is prescribed by the Independent Electoral Commission at all times and identify themselves to any interested authority upon request;
- Not to accept any gift or favour, or promise of gift or favour that might influence them in their official work;
- To refrain from interfering unjustifiably and in bad faith with the duties of the election officers, but to cooperate with election officers;
- To report any irregularity noted in the electoral process to the commission, or to competent officers of the commission who will examine the activities reported as irregular and take corrective measure;
- Observers are free:-
- To request for and obtain information on activities relating to registration of voters, and polling.
- To submit to the Commission, in writing, complains and appeals about any irregularities in the electoral processes;
- To be present at the polling stations and counting centres, and to occupy the nearest seats or positions to the polling officers so as to be able to monitor all the operations relating to the casting of votes;
- To inspect and verify before the beginning of the casting of votes the ballot drums and any other item to be used in the polling exercise.
N.B. Observers are not supposed to interfere by action, comment or advice with the polling exercise.
The accredited person or group shall submit to the Electoral Commission an interim report of their findings within 24 hours after the closure of the polls, and in any case before the final declaration of the results by the Electoral Commission. The report may include advice, as the observer may deem necessary.