The European Union will observe the parliamentary elections in Gambia scheduled for 6 April. Invited by the Gambian authorities, this will be the first time the EU will be deploying a full-fledged mission to monitor a Gambian poll, thus reflecting the EU’s commitment to supporting credible, transparent and inclusive elections in the country in a framework of broader democratic reforms.
Federica Mogherini, chief of the EU diplomacy, has appointed Mr. Miroslav Poche, as chief observer. Ms. Mogherini commented that Gambia “caught the world’s attention in January this year, when a tense political stalemate of several weeks finally resulted in a peaceful change of leadership, thus respecting the results of presidential elections.” According to the EU, the upcoming parliamentary elections on 6 April will be a new opportunity for Gambians to express their political will.
The observer mission – EOM Core Team – consists of seven EU election analysts that arrived in the country last week and will stay there until the completion of the electoral process to prepare its comprehensive assessment. The team will also be joined by 14 long-term observers who will be deployed across the country as well as by several short-term observers for the election week.
The deployment of an EU mission aims to contribute to the improvement of the transparency of the process and the respect for fundamental rights and freedoms. The EU supports African efforts to reinforce the democratization process across the continent. In doing so, Brussels has deployed more than 70 election observation missions throughout Africa since 2000.