A Voice from Gambia – 'Why our voices matter in forthcoming Local Elections!'
- The Point (Gambia)
- Category: Columnistas invitados / Guest columnists
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It is widely agreed that elections are the lifeblood of any thriving democracy. It is through elections that people’s power can be validly delegated to choose representatives.
In a nutshell, an election is a key component in strengthening participatory democracy.
Therefore, it is incumbent on every eligible voter to make his or her voice heard in any given election. Let's be aware of the fact that our voices matter a lot in any elections, especially local councils, which directly deal with local communities.
We all know that city councils are integral pillars in initiating development projects to better serve their people. This is clearly manifested in the number of projects executed at the municipality level as part of proceeds accrued from trades, licenses, waste collection, markets’ rates and taxes among others.
The more we participate in elections, the more we strengthen and give credibility to our electoral systems.
There was dismal voter turnout in the last councillorship election and we hope this time around, more electorates will turn in their numbers.
Let's not possess a voter's card for the sake of possessing it and only to be kept in places to gather dust. They are issued for a reason and that mission must be fulfilled.
When we vote, we then have a say in the way and manner our country, municipalities, and councils, are governed.
When citizens fail to vote in an election, it causes voter apathy which may result in electing an individual/party without the support of the majority.
Therefore, as aspiring chairmen and mayors have already filed in their papers ahead of the Local Government Elections, what remains now is the campaign proper to sell their agendas or manifestos to the electorates. So in the coming days, they will be visiting your communities in order to sell their manifestos and agendas.
Please don't be easily carried away by their flattering tongues or sweet words. They need your vote and for that, they will do whatever it takes to convince you to vote them into office. Be always careful before making a decision. Remember that your vote is your power and if you cast it in the wrong ballot; it will haunt you and that of your children in the future.
* Editorial at the Gambian "The Point", first published on 4 May 2023.