(Xinhua) -- The marbles and drums voting system in
the Gambia is very unique and efficient with chances of being
almost mistake free, Terry Tselane, head of the African Union
Election Observation Mission to the Gambia, said in an interview
“Some people think using marbles and
drums is a rudimentary system but one can begin to
appreciate if you are exposed to how effective and efficient
the system is, and I am impressed,” Tselane said, after
observing the final polling station in Bakoteh, some minutes
after the closing time 5 p.m. on Thursday.
“I think it makes counting much more
easier for electoral staff because if you look at the
mistakes that normally happen in the electoral process they
happen during counting when the majority of electoral staff
are tired because they have been working since in the early
hours until very late,” he said.
Tselane said unlike the marble system,
the paper ballot system is a process that can take far longer
time before the counting will even start.
“The process is very transparent and
fair and I think what will be concluded at the scene here
will truly reflects the will of the people. We are satisfied
with the process in which things were run.” he said.
“The Electoral Commission has done an
outstanding job. Amazingly, so soon after the voting they
have actually almost done with the counting the votes. This
is a record in terms of all the elections I have observed in
my life,” said the seasoned observer who has observed
elections throughout the continent.
Tselane, who is also the Vice
Chairperson of South Africa Electoral Commission, said in all
the voting stations that they visited in the Gambia they had
never encountered any challenges and that all other players also
found the process to be fair.
“There were no complaints at all. We
chat with the political representatives as well as other
observers and there were no one who actually complained
about the process and everybody was just satisfied with the
way things went,” he said.
Tselane gave credit to the Electoral
Commission as well as to the people of the Gambia. He said since
2011 the AU had observed elections in the Gambia and they have
decided again to come and observe this election.
“We have a team in the Gambia since
the Presidential election and they are familiar with the
terrain and process which makes it easier for them to deploy
their teams in various parts of the country,” he said.
He said his mission has deployed 22
teams in which two people are monitoring each 7 regions of the
He assured that the AU will continue
to observe the post-election in the Gambia which, according to
him, is an integrity of the process. He said they deemed it fit
to be on the ground to observe the situation to avoid only
relying on the media and other people.
The AU will release its preliminary
observation report on Saturday.