Re-Ecowas raises concern over Jammeh’s Attack on aide to Zainab
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
It is a great concern to me as a Gambian that a person honoured and elected as Member of the National Assembly, and represent the Gambian people in the Ecowas Parliament would misinform his fellow Members in that august Parliament about the happenings in the Gambian National Assembly election.
Most if not all Gambians are aware of what happened here in the run up to the election. The papers here carried the story for days. For Honourable Jadama to tell the Parliament that the main opposition party in The Gambia and its allies boycotted the National Assembly elections is in itself far from the truth.
Honourable Jadama went on further to calculatedly misinform the Ecowas Parliament that some opposition parties waited until one day to the close of nominations to approach the Electoral Commission to ask for the shift in the date and that the Commission turned down their request.
Now let me put the records straight by reminding the general public of the facts. Honorable Jadama could not have been so ill informed about this crucial matter in the politics of this country. He deliberately intended to mislead the Ecowas Parliament thinking the story could not reach The Gambia. Now it has and he is the more embarrassed for making these statements. The main opposition party and its allies, as he puts it, did not boycott the National Assembly Election as Mr. Jadama wanted the international community to believe, but they were instead pushed out of the elections by the Electoral Commission, who showed no regards to the opposition by not allowing the earlier call by the opposition parties for an inter party meeting since January 2012, to look into circumstances that led to the refusal by all opposition parties to recognise the results of the presidential election.
Secondly, the 14 points joint Declaration was issued and signed by all opposition parties without exception, outlining the problems that was responsible for the non-level political playing field was sent to the IEC on the 28th February 2012, to which the IEC replied to on the 5th March 2012, accepting all the 14 points that the opposition put forward as true and the IEC promised to address those concerns. I wonder where Mr. Jadama was then.It was the closeness of the IEC’s response to the election which warranted the Group of Six opposition parties again to write to the IEC to suggest that since the time to implement the IEC promises was too short, the date of the elections should be deferred to enable the IEC to sort out all the issues brought up by the opposition parties. The IEC rejected this proposal from the opposition parties which form the bulk of the stakeholders and in doing so, close the door to the participation of the seven opposition parties which signed the Joint Declaration, barring one party.
One thing that was certain to all was that all opposition parties had made all arrangements to take full part in the elections and most candidates has already gone through and completed the formalities ready to take full part and defeat the APRC. There was enough justification for pushing the date and that would have been in the interest of all Gambia voters but the IEC always showing partiality dismissed the opposition demand for a push in the date of the election.
In conclusion, the final declaration opposition parties sent to the IEC was on the 7th March 2012 and not one day before the close of the nominations as Mr. Jadama wrongly informed the ECOWAS Parliament. I will therefore urge Jadama to desist from deliberately misinforming or giving misleading information when making statements of this nature. We will never allow these falsehoods to go uncorrected.
Author: Ebrima Sandeng Secretary General UDP Youth Wing