By Lamin Sanyang – Three parties in the coalition government, United Democratic Party (UDP), National Reconciliation Party (NRP) and Gambia Congress (GMC) have formed a united front to contest the upcoming National Assembly Elections.
“We have proposed to form united front in the upcoming national assembly election,” Ousainou Darboe said.
Speaking at a press and held at The UDP Manjai Bureau, Darboe said the three parties jointly proposed to form tactical alliance in the upcoming national assembly election which he said will be most efficient to consolidate President Barrow.
Darboe gave a brief history of the alliance formed by the three parties in the past and their efforts to unseat the former president, Yahya Jammeh. He pointed out that the coalition 2016 has brought all opposition political parties together to contest the presidential election. He said nothing was mentioned about the national assembly election.
“Coalition 2016 Agreement deals with presidential election but does not cover parliamentary elections,” Ousainou Darboe said.
He added “we have proposed to select candidates base on the parties support as tactical alliance.”
The UDP leader said the alliance of these parties would support president Barrow in maintaining and promoting multiparty democracy rather than having 53 Independent parliamentarians.
“It will create chaos in the national assembly,” he pointed out.
Darboe further argued that the coalition independent candidates will have direct impact on party ideologies and identities. He dismissed the rumours that the three parties have left the coalition which he said was utter dishonesty. He said he has never seen anywhere in the world where all parliamentary seats are independent candidates.
The UDP leader said the coalition spokesperson ( Halifa) should have waited until talks are concluded before he calls a press conference.
However, questions were raised about the unity of the coalition government, three years transition and breakaway among other things.
Darboe was quizzed about his reactions to critics that the coalition was achieved in his absent and he only came to ruin things. He was also asked whether the moved made by them was not betrayal to President Barrow? He was further questioned about his reactions to those who said he is power hungry.
He refuted the accusations of spoiling the coalition, arguing on the institutionalism of his party. He said he is not the personification of the United Democratic Party, saying the party is an institution.
“People who are mischievous will not stop at anything. They are in the internet saying all kind of nonsense about me,” he said angrily.
Mr. Darboe said history has proved him right when he warned the then members of the opposition alliance NADD not to resigned from their parties which he said had cost them to lost their seats in Parliament.
“I wanted to resigned from NADD but was told by Assan Musa Camara to wait till after the by-election,” he pointed out.
Darboe argued that the move taken by the three parties is not a betrayal to president Barrow, saying the people who betrayed him are those who refused to take cabinet appointments.
“President Barrow’s home is UDP. Why should I betray him,” he asked.
The UDP leader said he is not power hungry but accused other coalition leaders who want president Barrow to resign after 3 years which he said is unconstitutional.
“I will be the first to defend it in court,” he said.
The press conference was attended by both Hamat Bah and Mai Ahmed Fatty with party supporters. There was drumming and singing Darboe’s name outside the bureau.
Meanwhile, a journalist from Foroyaa Newspaper was attacked by angry supporters for his questions to Ousainou Darboe. He was rescued by colleagues and rushed in a taxi.