9 political parties sign agreement on peaceful co-existence

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

All the nine registered political parties in The Gambia have signed a memorandum of understanding, which states how the parties would relate with one another, and to avoid the ruling party practice of abuse of state resources for party benefit.

The signing ceremony held at a hotel in Kololi was organised by the Inter Party Committee, comprising representatives of all the political parties, that is, the ruling party and opposition parties, and was chaired by Halifa Sallah.

The agreement should have been signed before the 1st December 2016 presidential election, but the then president Yahya Jammeh withdrew his party from the committee shortly before the election, thereby stalling the process. 

Speaking on the occasion, President Adama Barrow, who presided, said the MoU is a by-product of a common desire to create a peaceful and stable political environment, as it would encourage political parties to operate within the confines of the constitution and other laws of The Gambia.

He said the agreement would encourage dialogue and cooperation between political parties, and would also give dignity and respect to the Office of the President.

“I wish to assure you that I will do everything within my powers to support the committee [interparty committee] whose objective is to ensure that we live in society where dialogue and cooperation between political parties will serve in the promotion and consolidation of democracy, rule of law, human rights and good governance in The Gambia,” President Barrow said.

The chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission, Alieu Momarr Njai, said the MoU is of interest to all the political parties and stakeholders for a smooth electoral process in The Gambia.

“As far as the IEC is concerned, the MoU contains all the elements that will nurture a healthy inter-party relationship that could promote an environment of free and fair electoral process,” he said.

Halifa Sallah, chairperson of the interparty committee, said with the signing of the MoU, the inter party committee would now be transformed into an apex institution that would refine and entrench the democratic process.

Author: Mahamadou Camara
Source: Picture: President Adama Barrow with the party leaders and IEC chairman