By: Kebba AF Touray

The National Reconciliation Party (NRP) has convened a press briefing with journalists to highlight its past activities and their plans for the year 2018 and their preparedness ahead of the upcoming local government elections.

The event was held at the party’s headquarters along Kairaba Avenue on Monday 8thJanuary 2018. It was attended by the party leader and other executive members of the party.

During his speech, the party leader and Minister of Tourism Amat Bah, said the briefing was meant to share their thoughts and he went on to explain their plans for 2018, but most especially, for the upcoming Local Government Elections. He said 2017 has been a tight year and that they tried to partake in the parliamentary elections which according to him, was not an easy task; but that they were able to maintain the position of the Minority Leader and added extra seats.

Amat said they are working hard on the 2018 local government election and the difficulties faced in 2107 will be averted this time; that this included getting the right candidates and making them win elections.

“We intend to work out our program so that we participate effectively in the local government elections and we have to put up candidates for the chairmanship in both Basse, Janjangbureh, Kutaur, Mansa konko, Brikama  and Kerewan Area Councils. We have to strategize as a party with all the parties, especially UDP, to ensure that the coalition government captures the chairmanship in all these councils”, he opined.

He revealed that his party is committed to support the Barrow led government, adding that this is the best solution for the country for the next five years, in order to ensure that they carry out the necessary reforms.

He said it is crucial for the people to know what the APRC has done to the citizenry; that as such they need to be exposed and they have more to tell the people on how much the party has ‘wronged’ the country; that the Barrow led regime needs the support of all Gambians because they have a task that lay ahead of them. Amat emphasized his party’s’ readiness to support and contest as much as possible in the forthcoming local government elections; that in so doing, his party will be gender balance and he advocated for 35 percent if possible to be contested by females as stated in his party’s resolution.

“We still have huddles that women face in this country when it comes to contesting in elections and this needs to be addressed. All of us need to be part of the process especially the media, in sensitizing the people on the need for women contest for public offices”, he said

On the issue of the three year term as agreed by all the coalition stakeholders, Mr. Bah clarified that they agreed on three years, but it was not signed and that this is not workable and possible because Government has lots of things to do which cannot be completed in three years; that the three years is not a workable solution to allow Government to fulfill all the reforms and tasks it faces. Amat concluded by thanking President Barrow for the vehicles given to the NAMs which he disclosed is making their work easier and the Gambian people for their continuous support to his party and the press for their continuous steadfastness over the years, under a hostile environment. He however cautioned the press to report issues that will not threaten national security.

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