Aji Mariama Secka, UDP's deputy leader
Aji Mariama Secka, UDP’s deputy leader

(JollofNews) – The Gambia’s main opposition United Democratic Party (UDP) renewed its commitment to flush out President Yahya Jammeh and his APRC regime through the ballot box.

The UDP leader, Lawyer Ousainou Darboe, 67, who founded the party in 1996, is constitutionally barred from contesting this year’s presidential elections in the West African nation due to his age.

Mr Darboe and over 20 of his supporters are currently held in prisons on ‘politically motivated’ charges after they took to the streets in April this year to protest against the arrest, torture and murder of his party’s organising secretary by state security agents.

And as he languishes in detention, it was rumoured that his party would boycott the polls in protest of his arrest. It was also rumoured that Mr Darboe has agreed with a particular political party leader to put his weight behind him in polls.

But his party has rubbished the rumours which it described as ‘not only false and baseless but misleading and calculated to make a political gain from the support base of the party.

“Neither Ousainou Darboe nor UDP has ever made any such arrangement with anybody or any political party in connection with the forth coming December presidential poll,” said Mariam Secka,

Lawyer Ousainou Darboe
Lawyer Ousainou Darboe

deputy secretary-general and deputy party leader.

“The United Democratic Party as a party is more determined than ever before to democratically put an end to the dictatorial regime of Yahya Jammeh and APRC. The UDP has demonstrated as the best alternative political party that can bring the change that the Gambians badly need. Its leader has proven to all and sundry, that he is a leader worth following and capable of bringing sanity and good governance in the country.”

The party added: “As an opposition party, the UDP remains ever committed to the call for opposition unity and genuine electoral reforms agenda aimed to create an environment for the conduct of credible, free and fair elections as forwarded by the group of six opposition parties and also backed by the inter party committee for opposition unification.

In accordance with the UDP constitution, congress only elects the party leader and the entire executive, the central committee receives, considers and approves applications for the party presidential candidate whilst the selection committee does the selection. In respect of the inter- party dialogue and demand for electoral reforms, UDP is yet to name a presidential candidate and will continue to honour the process and act accordingly.”