Halifa Sallah, the spokesperson of the new government has said the position of the coalition government on the forthcoming National Assembly elections slated for April 6th, is not yet conclusive and that deliberations are still ongoing.
He made the declaration on Thursday at a press conference at the Kairaba Beach Hotel on the level of talks by the Coalition government in the way they will contest the parliamentary elections.
Section 96 of the Constitution establishes that the National Assembly election must be held four months after the holding of presidential election. The National Assembly comprises of 53 elected members from 53 constituency and 5 nominated members appointed by the president.
According to him, tomorrow, Friday, February 24th, 2016, the coalition will finally meet to make a conclusion but as at now, there has not been anything conclusive.
“Tomorrow is D-Day for the coalition to finally come to terms on how we going to contest the elections. Elections are base on popular consent. Those who believe that they will be able to serve should go ahead with their engagements with the population. But they cannot claim they are candidates of the coalition while we did not make a conclusion. You can only be an aspirant but not candidate because we haven’t concluded on anything yet” he said.
According to him, the upcoming National Assembly election is the second phase of the transition process. He said a Fact Finding Mission have been initiated by ECOWAS, UN, AU, and other bodies in other to examine the state of preparedness for the holding of the parliamentary election. He said the coalition executive has been meeting to deliberate on it and will convey their position to the Gambian people on Friday.
“Anybody going round in the name of the coalition talking on this matter is not speaking on behalf of the coalition. Notwithstanding, every Gambian has the right to elect or be elected and can do ground aspirant work but has to also will wait for the coalition to adopt a position first.” he said.
He said the National Assembly serves as an oversight institution and is as important as the executive, saying this is why the coalition takes it serious and sitting down to review how it will participate in this elections” he said.
He then made it clear that parties that exist in the country and anyone who wants to be independent candidate could go and seek nomination at the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), but the coalition must examine how it will contest the National Assembly election.