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Jammeh says 'there would be elections', as first family gets registered

Jun 20, 2011, 2:49 PM | Article By: Lamin B. Darboe

President Yahya Jammeh has said that as long as elections are in the constitution of the Republic of The Gambia, there would be elections in The Gambia, noting that it is not for him to decide whether there is need for elections or not in the country.

“The only way that I know that Gambians love and support me is the time they go and vote. This is a constitution that you cannot tamper with and, as far as elections are in the constitution, there will be elections.

“It is not for me to decide whether there is need for elections or not,” he said, adding that it is for the Gambian people to decide.

President Jammeh was speaking Thursday when he alongside the first lady Zeineb Yahya Jammeh were registered by officials of the Independent Electoral Commission at State House, ahead of the scheduled presidential, parliamentary and local government elections.

Jammeh, who would be seeking a fourth term in office this November 24th, told journalists that even if Gambians have to say that there should be “no elections”, there should be a referendum that says that Gambians have now agreed that there should be “no elections”.

“It is not a decision of the President or anybody, it is the Gambian people,” he emphasized.

While underscoring the importance of elections, the Gambian leader noted that what he wants is to make sure that, whatever he does, he has the support of the people as he does not want to impose himself on anybody.

“That is how I know whether people like me or not. That is how I know regions that want development, and those that do not want development. So it makes my job easier to know those who want development, and those who do not.

“It will all be determined by the way people vote. If you vote for the opposition and you want a road or hospital, forget it, and you wait for those people you voted for to build it for you when they come to power.

According to President Jammeh, he has a responsibility which he carries out, knowing that tomorrow, he will be judged by the Almighty Allah for his responsibility, and what he does as a human being.

“So elections are very important, and I think any leader whose country is supposed to have elections, let him go to elections, and if the people say goodbye, you tell them goodbye.

“ If they don’t want you, you go because you are asking for trouble when people say they don’t want you, and you force them to want you by rigging elections,” he said, adding that his conscience will not allow him to do that.

Commenting on the ruling APRC party’s chances ahead of the polls, Jammeh expressed confidence that he will score a landslide victory in the November polls, stating that the ruling APRC will teach the opposition a lesson in the forthcoming polls.

“Gambians are very grateful people, and they are development-oriented. We are going to teach the opposition a lesson – for all the oppositions in Africa that oppose progressive development-oriented governments.

“This will be the final forty days charity for opposition in this country. I have been swearing and, of course, there will be areas that do not want development – they can vote for the opposition – that’s their problem,” he said.

For him, this will be the fourth election, and so enough is enough.

“This time around, it is very clear that if you vote against development; don’t expect development,” the Gambian leader added.

He noted that in defending the resources and interests of The Gambia, he does not mind what title is being given to him by his ‘detractors’.

The Gambian leader further stated that all the criticisms against him are fertilizer.

“They have set up all forms of systems to castigate me, but all that is fertilizer. I will never relent in the defence of the interest of Africa and the Gambian people, in particular. Our resources have to benefit us,” he concluded.