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OJ calls for formidable opposition force

Sep 6, 2010, 12:19 PM | Article By: Alieu O. Jabang

(Friday, 3rd September 2010 issue)
Omar Jallow (OJ) leader of the opposition People's Progressive Party has called on members of the opposition camp in the country to come together for a formidable opposition force ahead of the country's next presidential, parliamentary and local government elections.

This, he noted, is the only viable and effective way in which they can succeed in their efforts both during the presidential, parliamentary and local government elections.

OJ, who was speaking in an interview with our reporter yesterday, said he is not interested in becoming a leader, but just wants to be part of the process that will bring about change in the country.

"Currently, the PPP is not doing anything, but only interested in bringing together a formidable opposition force to bring about changes in the country, because we believe that this is the only viable and effective way in which we can succeed," he said.

He added that what the PPP intends to achieve is an administration to serve the interest of Gambians and ensure that each and everyone lives not only in peace, but also in dignity.

"I want to be part of a process that will make The Gambia have a formidable and viable democratic system of government, with a vibrant independent press that will serve as a mirror of the country,” he stated, adding that as a politician with his current age, he is not interested in becoming a leader but wants to be part of the process that will bring about change.

The leader of the PPP, who also reacted to recent calls by the IEC Chairman for members of the opposition to join in funding the electoral process as government cannot do it alone, said that the call by the IEC boss took him by surprise.

"Really this call took me by surprise, when the Chairman said government cannot do it alone in financing the electoral process," he said, adding that we all form part of the government whether you support the ruling party or the opposition. "As long as you are a Gambian and you pay tax, you are part of the government," he noted.

According to him, parliament allocates money during the budget session for the operation and maintenance of the IEC and thus, the IEC Chairman cannot say such. "All that money is taxes paid by all Gambians irrespective of which party or religion you belong to," he noted.

In the view of the PPP leader, it was a misrepresentation by the IEC Chairman to call on the oppositions to contribute for the running and operation of the IEC, particularly for the holding of the election.

"I think the IEC Chairman had it all wrong. What he needs to do now is to go back to the drawing board and see himself as not representing any political party, but he is there for the interest of all Gambians who are interested in seeing the Gambia as an independent state," he added.

"My only advice for him is that he should avoid speaking on partisan affairs, because he is supposed to be independent and he is supposed to be impartial," he concluded.