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PDOIS installs Halifa Sallah as presidential candidate

Mar 21, 2016, 11:02 AM | Article By: Abdou Rahman Sallah

The People’s Democratic Organisation for Independence and Socialism (PDOIS) has formally installed Halifa Sallah as its presidential candidate for 2016, at a convention held on Saturday, 19 March 2016, at the Kairaba Beach Hotel.

In his acceptance speech, Halifa Sallah said he has accepted the nomination. “To make a declaration of acceptance of nomination, I dare say that all my life from the age of 16.5 I have no other ambition but to give my life to Africa. I just faced death and I am still alive; therefore, I consider myself to have a mission, and I fully accept your nomination.”

Sedia Jatta, chairman of PDOIS, in his remarks, said: “We have two fundamental things to celebrate: the first thing to celebrate is something that you have engaged in for the past three months; that you have never witnessed in this country.

“For the first time in your lives as sovereign citizens, you have the opportunity to exercise your fundamental rights of determining the person you want to be in charge of the affairs of your Republic.

“Three months ago, you started the processes of determining the person you want to be in charge of the Republic, in the aftermath of December 2016 presidential elections.

“This is your fundamental right and duty, to determine the person who should be in charge of the affairs of this country because you pay diverse taxes in order for you to live in peace, security and prosperity.

“I am sure you would like to know the results of the process of determining the presidential candidate for December 2016.”

Mr Jatta also said that after 51 years of independence more than 51% of the total population of The Gambia is “wallowing in abject poverty”; that for more than 51 years people have been denied their “fundamental human rights”.

He added: “This is a Republic where people disappear without trace; this is the Republic where freedom of speech is limited; this is the Republic where, even if you are a taxpayer, if you do not support the ruling party you are told that you will not benefit from any development.”

Sam Sarr, secretary general of PDOIS, said the day was a momentous one for the party, as there is clear indication that the “sun has risen and shining over our country, and PDOIS is a party of enlightenment; and with enlightenment you have clarity, you have hope and confidence” to be part of the country’s development process.

“The candidate who understands the political situation of the country is what Gambians needs,” Mr Sarr went on, and called on all Gambians to make wise decisions, come the December 2016 presidential elections.

The following is the full statement of Halifa Sallah’s declaration:

I, Halifa Sallah, hereby declare before the whole people that if elected President I will serve only one term which according to section 63 of the Constitution is for period of five years.

I, Halifa Sallah, hereby declare before the whole people that if elected President, our Cabinet will introduce a Bill to secure the following constitutional amendments:

The establishment of a two four year term limit to the presidency of The Gambia;

The establishment of one-third gender parity in the composition of Cabinet and all other representative institutions through proportional representation. Special interest groups like the physically challenged shall be given special consideration;

The restoration of the absolute majority so that no person shall be elected as President on the first ballot unless the votes cast in his or her favour at the election are more than fifty percent of the total number of votes validly cast at that election;

The abrogation of the upper age limit under section 62 of the Constitution which deters competent people from exercising their right to be elected as enshrined under section 26 of the Constitution which is a fundamental political right; the safeguarding of the separation of powers by giving parliamentarians and judges immunities from removal from office by the executive. Provisions shall be made so that parliamentarians who are dismissed from their parties shall automatically become independent members of parliament. Judges would be appointed by a service commission and removed only through impeachment after judicial and parliamentary inquiry.

I, Halifa Sallah, hereby declare before the whole people that if elected President, I will do away with all the monarchical privileges of the presidency through constitutional, legal, administrative and cultural reforms.

I, Halifa Sallah, hereby declare before the whole people that if elected President, I will not hold any other office of profit or emolument, whether public or private, occupy other position carrying the right to remuneration for the rendering of services, or directly or indirectly carry on any trade, business or other undertakings.