7 February 2013

Gambia: Give the Young the Chance to Contest Local Government Elections


Come April 4, 2013, Gambians will once again go to the polls to elect local councillors and mayors for the city of Banjul and the Kanifing Municipality.

As various political parties and prospective independent candidates are expected to be preparing for the Election Day, I must emphasise the need for the various selection committees to consider nominating more young people.

My argument is based on the fact that the country has a very youthful population and putting across the issues of this great segment of our society is very critical.

Another important issue that came to mind is the fair selection of candidates as this would reduce the tendency of having more breakaway candidates whose only option is to stand as independent candidates.

Even though contesting under an independent ticket is not bad, this could sometimes bring disunity within a party.

However, the issue that I want to highlight is that our political parties must realise that if they want to have wining candidates they must consult the people in the grassroots for their best choice.

Also, the young people who have attained 21 years and above should be strongly encouraged to partake in the forthcoming elections as candidates.

Young people have the talent, the skills and the wisdom to make things happen and bring innovative ideas to the development of our councils.

As youth, we must support one another in our drives to succeed in life and to bring the much needed development to our people.

Personally, I must repeat that I have no intention to contest for the coming elections be it under a party or as an independent candidate.

But, I am more than willing to support any talented and forward-looking youth who wants to contest the April local elections even at the level of a mayoral position.

I believe that it's high time for Gambian youth to be at the forefront of all sectors of our development endeavours including the democratization process.

Finally, I encourage all young people with voter's card to exercise their political rights come April 4.

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