Following an invitation from the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) of The Gambia, the Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD) Thematic Election Expert Observation Mission (TEEOM) commenced work on 31 October 2021.
The mission’s focus was on the rights and opportunities of women, youth, persons with disabilities and other underrepresented groups to participate in the electoral process. It also assessed media freedoms, the role of the media and online coverage of the election campaign.
The three-person international team comprised a Gender and Inclusion Expert, who was the Team Leader and was present in the country, as well as a Media Expert and a Social Media Expert, both of whom worked remotely. These experts were supported by a National Election Expert and a National Inclusion Expert as well as two teams of media monitors.
The TEEOM was independent of the WFD office in The Gambia and operated according to best practices for election observation as represented in the Declaration of Principles, to which WFD is a signatory.
Meetings were held with the IEC, media representatives, political parties, CSOs and other national stakeholders, as well as with international observers and other international actors. Activities in the country focused on the Banjul area, as well as in Gunjur, Birkama and Brufut to hear the perspectives of a variety of ethnic groups and parties, as well as the overall campaign environment.