As Gambia’s elections draw closer, international election observers are hoping for a free and fair election.
However, it seems Gambian authorities are rejecting the European Union’s access to observe the elections.
The EU had reportedly planned to deploy a team to assess the election following The Gambia’s approval of the EU to participate in the observance of the polls, as it had done in the previous elections in The Gambia.
“We have been informed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of The Gambia that the mission was not accepted,” an EU spokesman told Reuters.
The Gambian government is yet to comment on the refusal of the EU to observe the December 1 polls. However, a different official at the Gambian electoral commission stated that African Union observers have been given the privilege of attending Gambia’s elections.
President Yahya Jammeh who has ruled the Gambia since 1994 is set to contest for a fifth term regardless of the opposition’s opinions. This has prompted many to be concerned about the fairness of the elections set to hold on December 1.
President Jammeh took hold of the reins of power after a bloodless coup which ousted Dawda Jawara who had been President of the Gambia since 1970. Since then, President Jammeh has been the leader of the Gambia, even surviving coup attempts.
The President who is intent on winning has begun his campaign to get the votes of Gambians.
On the other hand, the opposition is also fiercely seeking a win. Eight opposition parties formed a coalition to produce one candidate to take on Yahya Jammeh. The candidate is businessman Adama Barrow.
Although President Jammeh has quite an impressive record on improving literacy and ending child marriage as well as female genital mutilation, he has over time been accused of abusing human rights.