By: Kebba Mamburay
Gambia Party for Democracy and Progress, on Friday 2nd March 2018, held a press conference at their main political Bureau in Church-hills, town on the selection of the party’s candidates for the upcoming local Government elections, coupled with discussions on the affairs of the party.
Saikou Mendy, the spokesperson of the party, said the party is a competent one and is coming up with force to take the nation because they have seen that the Gambia is a country that has been struggling with leadership and that they deemed it necessary to come up with candidates for the local Government elections. Mendy further put it to the press that they have about 25 candidates for the local government elections from Kartong to Koina and that these candidates were nominated on February 28th 2018; that the nomination took place at the party’s headquarters in Church-Hills town. He further stressed that their candidates are willing to take up leadership in local administration in their various Regions across the country and this is something that the party has been looking forward to for many years. Mendy said GPDP has scrutinized their selected candidates to know their Constitutional roles; that the party has never taken part in the past presidential elections apart from the coalition; that this year, they want to take part and have to start from somewhere which is the local government elections.
Mendy said they have gone through the requirements of the IEC with their candidates and these are candidates they should select fairly for they don’t want candidates whose credibility will be questioned by the people.
Mrs. Fatoumatta Darboe Gomez, the wife of the party’s Secretary General and the Deputy party leader of the GPDP, gave a brief history of the party. According to Mrs. Gomez, the party was founded and registered on the 2nd day of April 2004, by the party’s secretary general Hon. Henry Gomez; that during the same year in December, she also registered “The Gomez Foundation”; that The Gomez foundation has helped widows and orphans for the past 14 years; that the aim of her husband is to end dictatorship in The Gambia through the Ballot box.
Speaking to the press, Mrs. Gomez further said that from the 2006 presidential election, they joined the UDP and NRP Coalition and the UDP leader, Hon. Ousainou Darboe was the flag bearer of that Coalition; that in 2011, the opposition parties formed the United Front which was launched at the Atlantic Hotel, Banjul. He said they went through a convention to select a flag bearer and the flag bearer by then was Hon. Hamat Bah of NRP; that from there the GPDP joined the 2016 Coalition but they were not qualified because the leader was abroad at the time and they selected Mr. Adama Barrow, who became victorious. Mr. Abdoulie Mendy, deputy spokesperson of party, said GPDP has turned a new page and this is why people are seeing new faces and new voices; that words alone may not be enough to convince Gambians but the party is not to engaged in politics like other politicians have been doing; that they want to change the game and in doing so, one needs to be honest and truthful; that that’s what they want Gambians to understand. Mr. A Mendy said gone are the days when politicians will come and talk and people will be dancing and clapping; that after voting for them, they go back to their positions and enslave them.