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Hamat Bah to contest 2012 Parliamentary Election

Dec 27, 2011, 11:45 AM | Article By: Sainey M.K. Marenah

Hamat NK Bah, leader of the opposition National Reconciliation Party (NRP), looks set to regain his lost seat in the Upper Saloum district after he told The Point in an interview last week that he will contest the March 2012 parliamentary polls as a candidate.

Bah who lost to President-elect Yahya Jammeh in the 24th November presidential polls, was at one one time the National Assembly Member for Upper Saloum constituency in the Central River Region, but he lost to Hon. Sainey Mbye in the 2007 National Assembly elections.

Bah told this reporter that contesting the 2012 parliamentary polls will go a long way in vindicating him and his party in that they have not disappointed Gambians.

While calling for the maintenance of a level playing field, Bah said his NRP party will never boycott the parliamentary polls.

“NRP is determined to sit together with all stakeholders to improve on our voting and electoral system in general”, he declared.

Commenting briefly on the 2012 national budget, Bah said the year 2012 is not going to be an easy year for The Gambia and Gambians in general.

“It is going to be a very difficult year because, even the minister has confirmed that there is a serious drop in grants,” he said.

The NRP leader went on to task the minister to look inward and find out why government is not receiving the grants, and tell the Gambian people.

“Local borrowing is a cause for concern because the amount of money that government wants to borrow locally in terms of treasury bills and others looks alarming,” he stated.

Noting that government expenditure should be spent wisely and judicious, the NRP leader tasked government to manage the little resources they have for the benefit of the citizens, stressing that there is need for financial discipline at all levels.

“Looking at the amount of money spent in their so-called victory celebrations, I think the government should have a rethink and use such money to create jobs and provide medicines for all the hospitals in the country, most of which lack the needed drugs for their patients,” Bah added.

According to him, government’s attitude of spending money unnecessarily is sending a bad signal to the international community, noting that government should demonstrate that they are indeed in times of difficulties so that donors can help.

On the position of the recently-formed United Front that comprised four opposition political parties and his move back to his party, Bah said it is fair that he goes back to his party after they lost the 2011 presidential elections.

However, he stated that he is still the flag bearer of the United Front, which he said, is still solid, strong and ready to contest the parliamentary polls as a front, and any other election for the time being.

He further told this reporter that he did not shift from the United Front back to the NRP party, but from being an independent candidate back to the NRP.

“NRP is still part of the United Front,” he explained.

Quizzed as to his reaction to recent comments by veteran opposition leader, Omar Jallow alias OJ, leader of the Peoples Progressive Party, Hamat Bah said:

“Let me honestly tell you that I don’t respond to dead wood politicians. I think Halifa Sallah has given him an appropriate answer, which was done on behalf of the United Front.”