By Omar Bah
The Citizens’ Alliance (CA) party has issued a strong warning to the Independent Electoral Commission that they must not under any circumstances fail to deliver free and credible polls in December.
Addressing journalists at the party’s fifth monthly press conference last Friday, CA’s national president, Dominic Mendy, said though the IEC had difficulties during the preparations for the December poll, that should not be a recipe for failure.
“We know the environment in which the IEC is preparing to conduct the next presidential election is challenging but there is no excuse for them to fail in ensuring that they provide optimal environment and logistics for the election to be held freely and at the right time. There is no excuse for failure,” Mr Mendy said.
Turning to the issue of security, Mendy, a former minister of finance under Jammeh, described the country’s security situation as “threatening and worrisome”. He said The Gambia is fast becoming “a nation in which even during day time, one will need to be vigilant about your environment. We Gambians have never known this – we have taken our peace and security for granted.”
“Let me join all Gambians to pray for divine guardians in how we as a nation will extricate ourselves from the deteriorating formation process that our children are going through,” he said.
The solution to this problem, Mr Mendy added, will require the participation of all Gambians and the government to find a way of getting youth to be productive.
He said every genuine government should look at job creation, people’s happiness and quality education as a security element.
Asked whether the CA has attempted to reach out to the government to provide solutions, Mendy said: “No. But at a personal level I have been very involved in providing governance policy advisory services, study and support through the finances of mostly the donor community and I know every important governance personnel in this country. “I also get involved in dialogue with all of these people either at a policy consultative perspective or at a personal level and really as a consultant and as a senior member of CA. I have taken on government publicly and privately on almost all the issues we have talked about today.”
At that juncture the party’s spokesperson, Nenneh Freda Gomez, interjected to say that the CA has requested to meet Mr Barrow but the presidency has not acknowledged receipt of their letter.