NATIONAL ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS: What the Electorate Must Know & Who to Vote for or Not Vote For?

By Emmanuel Daniel Joof (Paps) 

Gambians go to the polls again on the 6th April and this time to elect the candidates of their choice to represent them in the National Assembly (Parliament). Those elected will be the Parliamentarians who will primarily debate and scrutinize bills (i.e. draft laws) that the Coalition Government will want to pass, amend or modify to implement their policies and execute their mandate.

After debating over these draft laws, the elected Members of the National Assembly will either vote in favour of the draft laws (sometimes with suggested amendments etc.) before it is sent to the President for his Assent (final approval) or they may sometimes disagree with the proposed draft laws and vote against it.  These MPs are therefore our representatives who will act as a check and will examine laws proposed by the Executive (Cabinet) of President Barrow.

Although most (except for some independent candidates) of the National Assembly candidates have been sponsored under their respective party tickets (UDP, GDC, NRP, PPP, PDOIS, NCP, APRC etc.), and most of the electorate is also affiliated to the various political parties, we however hope that the respective parties will put up credible and sound candidates who will be up to the task as law makers i.e. understand the issues involve to take part in debates. It is therefore important that these candidates are competent and credible.

That said, the Gambian electorate should be weary of electing and or reelecting APRC candidate(s) otherwise this will defeat the whole purpose of our hard earn struggle in removing dictator Yahya Jammeh Babili Jackass. Lest you forget too soon, remember that  the APRC National Assembly Members rubber stamped all the oppressive laws passed by Yahya Jammeh,  supported  his long list of atrocities from the student Massacre of April 10 & 11 of 2000; the assassination of Deyda Hydara, Chief Ebrima Manneh, Lamin Sanneh, Ebou Low, Ngajja Njie, Dabba Marenah, Solo Sandeng to name a few (and those that we have recently been informed were summarily executed); the arbitrary detention and torture of hundreds in appalling conditions; the illegal appropriation of peoples properties; the forced exile of many Gambians who had to run for dear life; and the plundering of the economy.

And please remember that when Yahya Jammeh came on GRTS on the 9 December 2016 to tell Gambians that he no longer accepted the election results of 2nd December 2016 which gave victory to President Adama Barrow, HE OBTAINED THE OVERWHELMING SUPPORT of his APRC cabinet Ministers and MPs. Remember that Most of the APRC Cabinet Ministers only handed in their resignation letters when it became obvious that ECOWAS and especially Senegal was going to evict Jammeh using force – although some former APRC Ministers are now telling us that they were only waiting for Jammeh’s term to end on the 18th January. Lies, lies and more lies.

To add insult to injury and in what can only be described as a treasonable act, on the 17th January 2017 (48 hours before Jammeh’s term expired), the APRC rubber-stamp Parliament declared a 90- Day State of Emergency (effectively illegally extending Jammeh’s term in power) banning amongst others “acts of disobedience and “acts intended to disturb public order”.

The APRC National Assembly members and Jammeh’s ministers (ALL of THEM) would have continued serving under dictator Jammeh who would have continued to illegally detain, torture and kill Gambians and pillage our economy while bombarding us with his usual corrupted dosage of religious rhetoric in the name of an Islamic Republic of the Gambia.

To date, I have not heard any of the Jammeh ministers and APRC MPs apologies  to the Gambian people and say the magic words “we are sorry” for the crimes that Yahya Jammeh (with their overwhelming support) committed on Gambians.

Gambians wake up.

 

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