6 October 2017

Gambia: MOU Between Political Parties

Nine registered political parties in the country signed a memorandum of understanding between them which states how the parties would relate with one another, as well as ensure the ruling party refrains from the practice of abuse of state resources.

Below is the full text of the MOU for the consumption of the reader.

Preamble

We, Leaders of all political parties registered by the Independent Electoral Commission for the purpose of contesting elections,

Convinced, that a peaceful and stable political environment, underpinned by a transparent plural and democratic political dispensation, is vital for the Gambia's future prosperity, happiness and the well-being of its people;

Conscious of the dignity and respect due to the office of the president of the Republic, as head of state, as well as the role of the political opposition as important partners in national construction and development;

Recognizing too the legitimacy of the government and its right to govern within the confines of the constitution and other laws of the land,on the one hand; and th right of political opposition to operates freely and hold the government to account, on the other;

Aware that dialogue and co-operation between political parties and constructive national conversation with the Gambian people represent key cornerstones in the consolidation of the democratic process in the Gambia,

Have agreed as follows:

PART 1

General Principles

The party that has subscribed to this MOU has agreed:

to put the past behind us and in the higher interest of The Gambia, work constructively towards national reconciliation and the consolidation of democracy, good governance, due process, respect for fundamental Human Rights and the Rule of law in the Gambia;

to work positively and co-operatively, at all times, towards the holding of transparent and credible elections in which the undiluted consent of the people will be reflected and accepted by all the contesting political parties and the people of the Gambia;

to these ends, to tacitly adhere to the following Code of Conduct,alongside that of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), to guide our activities in general and our conduct in the lead up to every election to be held in The Gambia.

Part 2

Code of Conduct

Compliance with the Law

A party that has subscribed to this code will adhere to the Constitution and other laws of The Gambia, especially, the electoral laws, rules and regulations.

The conduct of political Activities

A party that has subscribed to this code will:

Respect the right of all other parties to campaign freely and disseminate their political ideas and principles without fear,

Respect freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly and peaceful demonstration as provided for by the constitution and other laws of the Gambia

iii. Refrain from disrupting or frustrating the legitimate activities of other political parties, including the holding of political rallies, meetings.

Refrain from defacing or destroying the posters, leaflets and handbills of political parties and their candidates.

LANGUAGE

A party that has subscribed to this code will.

Organize and conduct its activities, at all times in a manner that contributes to a congenial and peaceful atmosphere;

Avoid using inflammatory or defamatory language;

Not in any way threaten or incite violence, in any form, against any person or groups of persons

Will not issue, either officially or anonymously, pamphlets, newsletters or posters containing language or material that threatens or incites disorderly conduct or violence.

Violence and intimidation

A party that has subscribed to this code accepts that intimidation in any form is unacceptable and will:

Issue directives expressly forbidding its officials, candidates, members and supporters from intimidating any person at any time;

Campaign against violence and all acts of vandalism or public disorder committed or threatened by their officials, candidates, members or supporters;

Respect other competing parties, persons and their properties.

Separation of Powers

A party that has subscribed to this code will:

Respect the full separation of powers as detailed in the constitution and other laws;

Not seek in any way to unduly influence or use other arms of the government for political purposes;

Will refrain from using Civil Servants and public funds for partisan campaign purposes.

Acceptance of the outcome of transparent and Credible Elections

A party that has subscribed to this code will:

Accept the outcome of a transparent and credible election that has been certified by the Independent Electoral Commission or submit any grievance only to the competent dispute settlement agency provided for by law;

Accept and comply with the decisions of the competent dispute settlement agency.

Dialogue and Co-operation

To be cont.

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