Inter-party Committee on Opposition Unification. PHOTO: Freedom Newspaper
Inter-party Committee on Opposition Unification. PHOTO: Freedom Newspaper

(JollofNews) – In their bid to have a single opposition candidate against incumbent Gambian President Yahya Jammeh in the forthcoming presidential elections scheduled for December 2016, an Inter-party Committee on Opposition Unification, held a meeting on Tuesday afternoon to discuss unity amongst the opposition parties.

The objective of the conference was to reaffirm their stands in seeing the opposition merge and pick one candidate for the elections, which according to Kebba Singhateh, the Chairman of the committee, is the only way they can topple the current regime.

For Singhateh, the Gambia is sinking politically and economically and the cream of the country, the young people are continuously leaving the country in their numbers in search of greener pasture, whilst the APRC regime is using all mechanisms to cling on to power.

“The current economic and political situation is unbearable and uncompromising. The suffering is enough. The tactics by the regime to suppress and oppress genuine democracy through draconian electoral laws are unacceptable,” Singhateh noted.

He further stated that the continuous silence of the regime on the demands of the oppositions for electoral reforms

Lawyer Ousainou Darboe
Lawyer Ousainou Darboe

and the recent enactment of the Election Amendment Act 2015, coupled with a growing concern and demand by the vast majority of the electorates and Gambians in the diaspora, necessitated the emergence of the interparty committee for opposition unification to add their voices in complementing the opposition parties.

In his turn, Musa Sonko, the Secretary General of the committee, said a united force to challenge the ruling APRC party in the December presidential election is the best option to defeat President Jammeh at the polls.

“Gambians living at home and abroad are yearning for unity amongst all the opposition parties. The uneven political playing field had been in favor of the APRC since its transformation from a military junta to civilian rule and the recently enacted draconian Election Amendment ACT 2015, are all designed to stifle the prospects and chances of the opposition to effect the most needed change of government,” Sonko said.

Sonko further said, it is imperative for the opposition to revisit their stand and demonstrate their belief in the ideals of social justice and individual liberty, which no one will do for them.

Hamat Bah of NRP
Hamat Bah of NRP

As a result, the parties, comprising the National Reconciliation Party (NRP), the Gambia Party for Democracy and Progress (GPDP), the Gambia Moral Congress (GMC), National Democratic Action Movement (NDAM), the National Convention Party (NCP), the United Democratic Party (UDP) and the People’s Progressive Party (PPP), through their party militants decided to come together to form the Interparty Committee on Opposition Unification.

In a short statement, Ousainou Darboe, the UDP leader who is barred to contest the next elections due to age limit said the committee has made history by bringing most of the parties together to discuss issues of concern.

He therefore urged then to be personate and frank for whatever they do as it is in the best interest of Gambians.

Similar sentiments were expressed by Hamah Bah, leader of the NRP who also called for unity of purpose amongst the opposition forces.