Three die in Gambian election campaign clashesBy XINHUA | Friday, November 25 2011 at 13:06
Three people died on Thursday at a hospital in the Gambian capital of Banjul after serious clashes occurred on Tuesday between the supporters of the opposition United Democratic Party and the ruling Alliance for Patriotic Re-orientation and Construction.
According to a witnesses, the opposition United Democratic Party supporters were on their way back from the nationwide presidential campaign and upon their arrival at Kanifing Municipal along Kairab Avenue, they met with members of the ruling party supporters.
The two sides then started a confrontation. "It is very sad for Africans to kill each other for only an election", the witness said.
Meanwhile, Gambian President Yahya Jammeh confirmed the deaths of his party militants and said such a situation would not be tolerated in the country.
Meanwhile Gambia's Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) on Thursday rebuffed an allegation made by the West African regional group Ecowas over the African country's presidential election.
Lacks minimum standards
Ecowas had said in a statement Wednesday that it will not send observers to monitor Gambia's November 24 presidential election in Banjul because the country lacks the "minimum standards" for conducting a fair election.
IEC chairman Alhagie Mustapha L Carayol termed the Ecowas statement as "rubbish false allegations."
"Gambia has the necessary level playing political field for long time, starting from the voters registration exercise, the political campaign to the date of voting," he said.
But Ecowas has said that they will not send their observers to Gambia due to lack of level playing field, while they have also criticised the Gambian government for the participation of civil servants and military officers in campaigning for the President.
The Ecowas statement insinuated that "the conditions prevailing in the country do not meet the minimum standards set under the Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance for the conduct of elections."
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