Mar 11, 2009, 9:00 AM
Ahead of scheduled presidential, parliamentary and local government elections, renowned human rights lawyer Assan Martins has spoken and thrown his weight behind opposition leader Mai Fatty of the Gambia Moral Congress, GMC.
Martin, who was speaking in an interview with our reporter at his Serrekunda chambers, said: "I am endorsing the Gambia Moral Congress Party in the forthcoming elections based on the fact that GMC's top priority is respect for human rights and social justice."
This, he said, is entrenched in the GMC manifesto. "These are values we need in our democracy," he added.
According to him, like all other political parties, the Gambia Moral Congress highly values the rule of law, human rights, and justice.
"These are ideals that are best for any national democracy, and are necessary to sustain our democracy and social progress," Martins noted.
He further stated that without a pluralistic democracy, our system of checks and balances will collapse and disappear.
"This will lead us into a one-party state and more so a democratic deficit," Martin said.
He added: "People must understand that the opposition is not an enemy, but an opponent in the democratic process of a nation. The respect and observance of diverse views are entrenched in our constitution. Equally, people have the right to choose any political party to govern the affairs of their nation."
He called on all political parties to embrace the rule of law, justice and democracy, which he noted, are the ideals this nation was founded upon 50 years ago.
"GMC values rule of law, respect for human rights and democratic norms, which are very essential in any governance system," Martin concluded.