Sock vows not to rally behind any presidential candidate in Dec. polls

Aug 25, 2021, 10:55 AM | Article By: Sulayman Waan

Marie Sock-Jobarteh, independent aspirant presidential candidate, has said she will contest in the December 4th presidential election and will not back any presidential candidate.

Speaking to The Point exclusively in her office, she said: “I will contest in the December election as an independent candidate. Gambia politicians have not approached me about forming an alliance with me. That is okay and I do not even believe in coalition.

Making reference to the 2016 coalition, she said their first agenda which was to remove former President Yahya Jammeh was attained but later disintegrated and failed to achieve some of their agreements and aims.

However, Sock expressed doubt over a successful coalition ahead of December. She said if such high caliber and respected politicians like the 2016 coalition team disintegrated and could not implement the country’s transition well, “so when these young people who are now yearning to become head of state, what makes you believe they can pull that coalition together,” she asked rhetorically.

She continued: “Because they are going to copy the 2016 coalition exactly. Everybody is looking for a position and being in a coalition does not mean everyone has to have a position.”

When asked whether she would accept backing of some political leaders in the December elections, she replied: “I will accept them but based on certain principles. Just because you are backing me does not mean that I have to put you in office and it does not mean I have to give you a ministerial position.”

She said if political parties backed her in the presidential election and won the election, she would choose to work with competent people to develop the country. “If a political leader is not competent I will choose a competent person from his or her party to work with,” she noted.

Madam Sock is the founder of Social Alliance Democrat-The Gambia Chapter, a civil society organization meant to bring social development, hold the government accountable and ensure rule of law. She has now resigned from the executive and is vying for the presidency.

The international organisation has comprehensive policies and programmes which Madam Sock used as a manifesto. The organisation has endorsed her candidature.

 Preparation ahead of December election

Madam Sock said she has been calling the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) to confirm her candidature but has been asked to wait because there is a process that needs to be followed.

But she quickly expressed optimism to complete her candidacy before the elections.

Sock- Jorbateh noted that independent candidates are not allowed to organise political rallies but just to hold meetings.  “However, my meetings have been large-rallies because many welcome us,” she added.

Madam Sock said she has delivered colanuts across the country and informed Gambians of her candidacy.  “We do not just go and talk to people, we take things to them. Right now, there are two villages where we started farming to empower villagers.”

“I have been doing this kind of project before I became a politician. It is just a continuation of my philanthropy,” she noted.  

On national development

Sock said her government's principal concern would be to boost the country’s economy through unlocking agriculture, improving the educational system and advancing the health sector.

Women and youth empowerment

Madam Sock-Jobarteh, the only female presidential aspirant, said fifty percent (50%) of her government would be female, noting women are focused and only dedicated to human development.

“I want to empower Gambian women. I want to educate and give equal opportunity to women. I have a lot for women because I am a woman,” she posited.

She, however, called on Gambian women to rise-up and take their stance in the political arena as well as participate in the decision-making process in the country rather than being clappers and cooks in political events.

Speaking further, Sock vowed to empower youth to scale down the country’s youth unemployment rate.