The Spokesperson of the United Democratic Party (UDP) announced Wednesday that Gambia’s leading political organisation will be celebrating its 22nd anniversary.The move comes as the party continues to strenghten its influence as well as widen its political base across the country.
“The United Democratic Party (UDP) was founded on the 23rd of August 1996,” Lawyer Almamy Fanding Taal told reporters during a press conference held at the UDP headquarter in Manjaikunda, some 9 km away from Banjul. Lawyer Almamy Taal was also flanked by Deputy Party leader Aji Yam Secka and a good number of Parliamentarians and Councilors.
As part of activities marking the anniversary, Lawyer Taal added, a symposium will be held to reflect on the struggles, and fallen comrades of the party. “We are also going to reflect on the demand of leadership in an age of globalization, social media and citizen journalism,” he added.
The UDP emerged victorious during recent electoral consultations, affirming its growing influence since The Gambia’s longtime ruler was voted out in December 2016.
The UDP Spokesman added that they will also use the occasion to honour Hon. Dembo Bojang who has dedicated 40 years of his life for the triumph of democracy and rule of law in the tiny West African nation.
“The commemoration of the party’s anniversary is a very important activity and will be organised during the first weekend following the Muslim Feast commonly known as Tobaski,” Taal said. “The party leader will deliver a keynote address, and there will be discussions on the challenges the UDP is facing.”
Mr. Taal stated that internal democracy constitutes a reality within UDP as party members are going to elect their executives at all levels starting from September through December.
“We believe in internal democracy. Every office holder in the UDP has a two-year mandate,” he emphasized while making it clear that this in line with the rules and regulations of the Independent Electoral Commission.
“The ideals of Lawyer Ousainou Darbie is that of a party of rule of law, constitutional order, and legalism,” he said.
As the party’s popularity has reached its climax, Lawyer Taal said there are a lot of people who have expressed interest to join UDP. “Our doors are wide open for everybody,” he assured.
“UDP Is Not A Mandinka Party”
Speaking earlier, Aji Yam Secka, the second-in-command at the level of the party, expressed gratitude to President Adama Barrow for appointing Ousainou Darboe as Vice-President.
She reiterated the party’s commitment to the National Development Plan (NDP) spearheaded by the Gambia government.
An emblematic figure of the “Kalama Revolution” that precipitated Yahya Jammeh’s downfall, Aji Yam Secka seized the opportunity to debunk accusations made by some people that the UDP is a Mandinka party.
“UDP has nothing to do with tribal politics!” she exclaimed.
She said she has never been discriminated, adding that she cannot still understand why people are spreading such rumours.
In recent times, the polarisation of voters along tribal lines has been an issue of concern for many Gambians.
She denied that identity politics is playing a preponderant role in the party, citing Aji Soukeyna Kah, Adama Jallow and herself who are all holding top positions in the party.
“UDP members have done all what they can to restore democracy, rule of law, human rights and peace in the country,” Mrs. Secka said.