Apr 28, 2008, 7:06 AM
The majority leader and member for Serrekunda East constituency has opined that the ruling Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC) party can only be challenged by an effective and realistic opposition.
Fabakary Tombong Jatta, who was speaking to this reporter ahead of the forthcoming National Assembly elections due next month, said that “a fragmented opposition; an opposition that only waits for elections to prepare, and an opposition that is never ready to work with the government for the betterment of all Gambians, will never pose a threat to the APRC”.
Out of a total of 53 seats in the National Assembly, the ruling APRC has 47 of which 5 are nominated MPs.
The opposition United Democratic Party has only four seats, while the National Alliance for Democracy and Development has one seat, and one seat is held by an independent candidate.
“The current opposition parties we have in this country are not organized and, as a result, they can never pose any potential threat to the incumbent,” he told this reporter.
Noting that Gambians are now more matured politically, Hon. Jatta stated that Gambians want development and service delivery, which in his opinion is being done by the APRC administration.
“No wonder during the last presidential elections, the president won in all the constituencies and, come next month’s parliamentary elections, there are 99.9% chances that the APRC is going to take all the seats in the parliament,” he declared.
The APRC party, he went on, is proactive and service delivery oriented, and analyzing the events so far, come 29th March, the APRC party will sweep the polls.
“We have a process that we go through; we are an organized party. The process has started and hopefully sooner than later, we will be able to indentify our candidates for the coming parliamentary election,” Jatta added.
In his view, the APRC has brought unprecedented development to the doorsteps of Gambians and, as a result, Gambians will continue to vote massively for President Jammeh and the APRC party.
“It is service delivery! It’s proactive! The party has brought in unprecedented development in this country under the leadership of President Yahya Jammeh,” said Jatta, adding that “people want development and politics is all about development, stability, and progress”.
“I bet, come this election, APRC will win 99.9%. The opposition has four or five seats in parliament but come next month, even if they have one seat, they try,” Jatta continued.
The majority leader further told this reporter that after 17 years in power, the ruling APRC “has brought in developments that can never be brought by any other party in the country.”
The APRC party, he said, is the people’s choice and this, according to him, should be accepted by the opposition.
On whether he will run for another term as National Assembly member for Serrekunda East, the veteran politician said his performance has to be assessed by the people of his constituency.
“The electorate have the final say on who should be their candidate. As at now, I cannot tell whether I will be contesting or not because it is the people of Serrekunda East who will determine that,” Jatta said.