image-7fa88c0705dcfb73390cd244a2eb3c682dd70a3ae68956e41c4692c755f14304-VAs the standoff with Gambia security forces entered its fourth day in Fass Njaga Choi, a locality close to the Senegalese border, the leader of United Democratic Party (UDP) says it is a bad omen for the country’s next elections.

“The Standoff still continues; there has been no change in the situation. It is a bad omen for 2016 elections,” he told this reporter Ousainou Darboe and his supporters embarked last Thursday on a 10-day nationwide tour after ‘having waited for the police permit for weeks without granting any.’ However, the police went ahead and stopped the caravan, creating an intense standoff between UDP supporters and security personnel.

UDP leader said the Gambia government is busy using security forces to muzzle, and create obstacles for the opposition. “I think the Independent Electoral Commission should be on the alert. It does not appear that Gambia is prepared for a free and fair election.”

While the ruling Alliance for Patriotic Re-orientation and Construction (APRC) toured the country in April 2014, opposition parties have been facing huge challenges to enjoy this key element of the exercise of democracy. “We are less than two years of the 2016, parties should be able to go around the country to present their program to people.”

As fears for his security are mounting, the UDP leader said there is no threat to his security. “So far, the militants are there and there is no threat to them.”

The news of the long-awaited protest seems to have sparked more
determination within the opposition as supporters of Gambia Moral Congress (GMC) have reportedly stormed the site of the standoff.

Written by Abdoulie JOHN

Ends

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