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Darboe rebuts report on change of leadership in UDP

Feb 5, 2016, 11:22 AM | Article By: Abdou Rahman Sallah

Lawyer Ousainou Darboe, leader and secretary general of the United Democracy Party (UDP), has rebutted media reports that he has finally stepped aside as leader of the UDP.

According to a social media report by “What’s On-Gambia” (www.what’son-Gambia), an online website, the UDP has decided to select one Matilda Daffeh to lead the party in the upcoming presidential election, as Ousainou Darboe had finally stepped aside as leader of the party.

The report further stated that more than 500 party delegates met on Sunday in Brikama Mansaringsu and unanimously selected Matilda Daffeh, a gender activist, as the new leader and candidate for the country’s main opposition party in the upcoming presidential election.

“Although, she is in her early 30s, Matilda has been described by many as old head on young shoulders,” media reports indicated.

The report stated that a press release announcing the change of leadership in the UDP was sent to some of the media houses in the country, in which “former party leader Lawyer Darboe congratulated the Brikama-born gender activist”.

The report also quoted Lawyer Darboe as having said, “Matilda’s selection to lead the party is a significant development in the country’s political history, and she will be the first woman to contest for the presidency”.

The report said former University of The Gambia political science lecturer, Sait Matty Jaw, also “congratulated UDP for selecting a woman to lead the party”.

When contacted to verify the report on the change of UDP leadership, lawyer Darboe denied and refuted the reports, calling them “unfounded and misleading reports”.

He said the UDP as a functional party operates based on principles guided by the party’s manifesto.

“If we are to change the party’s leadership, there is a procedure to be followed. We must hold congress to which we will invite all political parties and party militants, as well as journalists to a press conference, to inform the general public, rather than sending press release to outsiders as mentioned in the reports,” lawyer Darboe said.