President Adama Barrow has on Wednesday expressed the need for The Gambia to learn from India’s ability to hold peaceful elections.
“India is the biggest democracy in the world with nine hundred million registered voters. The last election was conducted in a very peaceful way,” Barrow told reporters during a media briefing jointly organised with his Indian counterpart at State House in Banjul.
Elections in Africa have always been a recipe for chaos and instability. The worse scenario was avoided in 2016 after former President Yahya Jammeh made a dramatic U-turn, contesting the results of the elections. A polical impasse pregnant with huge risks ensued, prompting forces of the regional bloc ECOWAS to enter into The Gambia in order to safeguard the will of the people. President Barrow said there is no reason that can justify why we cannot conduct peaceful elections in Africa, especially in The Gambia, a country with a population of 2 million inhabitants.
For his part, President Kovind said both countries are tied to the Commonwealth. He felicitated the Gambian leader for putting national reconciliation and justice at the centre stage of the transition process. He reiterated his commitment to strengthen ties between the two nations. “We agreed that we should extend our partnership,” he added, commending Gambian government for supporting the Indian community.
A Memorandum of Understanding was endorsed by the two heads of state with a view to expanding ties between their nations. Indian leader announced a major solar project for the country, and that the country would extend assistance in key areas such as the police, judiciary, administration and technical expertise.