The former United Democratic Party parliamentarian has expressed his party’s resolve to engage the Gambia’s electoral commission on extending voting rights to Gambians in the Diaspora.
Momodou Lamin Sanneh, who represented Kiang West in Parliament, said engaging the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) on the issue is crucial as the country prepares for the 2016 presidential contest. “We intend to engage the IEC and stakeholders for Gambians in the Diaspora to be part of the voting process so one can vote anywhere you might be in the world,” the United Democratic Party political kingpin told a recent rally at Serekunda.
The Gambia government had earlier denied Gambians outside the country their right to vote, complaining of lack of resources.
The former Minority Leader also revealed his party’s plans to push the agenda for a constitutional reform. He said such a reform would peg the presidential tenure to 10 years.
Sanneh urged Gambians to put a halt to the economic hardship they are faced with. “The economic hardship in the Gambia is not a secret to anyone but only Gambians can put a stop to that because no one would come from outside to put a stop to it.”
He spoke against the Gambia government’s campaign of misinformation. “Let stop misleading people, development is a right and not allegiance to a ruling party,” he said, insisting that every tax paying citizen deserves the right to development. Sanneh described as unfair and misleading for the government to deny Kiang people development for voting for the opposition. He said such a threat does not hold water because the government takes grants on behalf of all Gambians, including the people of Kiang.
Diasporans won’t vote APRC. So I don’t see an APRC Government giving Diasporans the vote. That said, the APRC Government may consider it if Pa Nderry Mbai would re-align himself and his Freedomnewspaper towards support for the APRC (Freedom & Daily Observer in the same stable – that would be a miracle!).
I like Mr. Sanneh’s Grand-Boubou … they went crazy when I wore my GOLD coloured one in Kenya in 1999 (they have only British colonial suits there!). Swahili should be the Pan-African formal language and Grand-Boubou should be the Pan-African formal attire!
Kiang is a beautiful place. I know it well – it was also my late friend Baba Jobe’s constituency. Concerted development effort there would be welcome.