Sep 12, 2008, 6:55 AM
The opposition Gambia Moral Congress (GMC) has issued a statement distancing itself from a proposed convention put forward by the Peoples Democratic Organisation for Independence and Socialism, (PDOIS), which was agreed to by two other opposition parties namely, the NRP and GPDP.
In a statement signed by GMC party leader Mai Fatty, the GMC said fairness and sincerity should guide the talks in the formation of an opposition alliance.
It said fairness demands that the opposition political party with the largest support base, more functioning structures and historically proven voter support should be accorded priority in the political equation, insisting that “if we must build a New Gambia, we cannot jettison fairness and sincerity on the altar of convenience.”
Below we reproduce the full text of the GMC statement:
This is to inform the general public of the position of GMC on the failed united opposition alliance talks, for purposes of election 2011. Our policy has been to empower the opposition and to support the formation of a robust, united alliance, which we believe provides enhanced prospects for political changes in the national governance infrastructure.
GMC had participated at all sessions of the talks concerning a united opposition alliance for election 2011. GMC National Working Committee (NWC) authorized its Delegates to present our perspective. This position specifically and exclusively mandates support for the Party-led proposal as opposed to a Convention proposed by PDOIS.
Our party’s position on this has been deliberate and consistent for the past one year, when we publicly proclaimed a statement of intent endorsing this principle. There has been no modification of official GMC position authorized by the National Working Committee to depart from this principle, meaning there was no legitimate Mandate authorizing GMC Delegates to the alliance talks, to support or endorse a Convention proposal put forward by PDOIS.
GMC maintained that fairness and sincerity should guide the talks in the formation of an opposition alliance. If we are to be sincere, we as leaders of political parties must also be fair, for sincerity and fairness are values that cannot be separated or compartmentalized.
One cannot claim to be sincere and yet eschew fairness. GMC submitted to the alliance talks in writing believing that fairness demands that the opposition political party with the largest support base, more functioning structures, and historically proven voter support should be accorded priority in the political equation. GMC insists that if we must build a New Gambia, we cannot jettison fairness and sincerity on the altar of convenience.
That is why although desirably we would like to also produce the united opposition flagbearer, our Party suppressed this inclination in the larger national interest. It is this inescapable demand for fairness and sincerity that informed our policy to support a Party-led proposal consistently for the past one year. National political expediency or other compelling variables may require GMC to review this policy within the context of a united opposition alliance, if in our considered opinion superior supervening circumstances present themselves.
The general public is, therefore, being duly informed that GMC National Working Committee, the sole body with the legal authority to determine this matter, did not authorize a change of our well-known position within the context of a united opposition alliance front, however that may come to be. Consequently, GMC as a political Party is not a part of the political opposition that currently promotes the idea of a Convention as propagated by PDOIS, NRP and GPDP.
Now that the prospects of a united opposition alliance has failed within the context of which we consistently supported the principle of Party-led proposal, GMC National Working Committee is currently in the process of assessing the conclusions of our recent consultations with our membership nation-wide, so as to give direction to our next line of action.
The ultimate decision of the National Working Committee (NWC) shall be inspired by the aggregate recommendations and aspirations of GMC members, in accordance with what they believe is in the best national interest, and that of our Great Party. The general public shall be duly informed shortly.