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Monday, September 28, 2020

DARBOE VOWS TO FIGHT ANYONE SPLITTING UDP

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By Lamin Cham The leader of the United Democratic Party, Lawyer Ousainu Darboe, has said he would not spare anyone no matter his or her description, who tried to split the UDP. Addressing the party’s national biannual congress over the weekend, Darboe stressed that while no one doubts that President Adama Barrow is the president of The Gambia, no sane person will equally doubt that he [Darboe] is the leader of the United Democratic Party and that he would not watch any one try to divide the party. “I am not desperate to become president but I am not equally going to stand by for anyone to split the UDP because I am elected by the people to lead that party,” he warned, adding “UDP will never be divided into two. There is no UDP 2016… There is only UDP 1996.” This terse message coming at the tail end of his address dwarfed his entire speech in which he paid tribute to the heroes and martyrs of the UDP who alongside other comrades stood against dictatorship while urging the party to remain united forging into the future. Darboe further looked forward to even brighter future for the party calling on the militants to remain accommodative and tolerant to each other no matter what difference on any matter. Darboe’s strong message coming on the heels of widespread belief that the party was heading for division between Darboe and Barrow camps, was widely interpreted to be a warning to those who entertain any desire to use the UDP for anything outside his influence. The congress, attended by 1060 delegated members and gate-crashed by hundreds of others, also passed landmark constitutional amendments that barred party officials in public service from holding executive positions in the party. As result of this Lamin Cham, a presidential adviser who was aspiring to retain his position as national youth president was disqualified from contesting. The new amendments, according to United Democratic Party officials, seek to bring the party’s constitution in line with the country’s laws. The amendments barred public servants from holding positions in its national executive. Specifically the new amendment, which was adopted at the congress on Saturday, disqualified any public servant from contesting for positions in the executive committee. Analysts believed these could include high profile people currently holding advisory positions at the presidency. Also, the new amendments state that “an aspiring candidate for the congress shall be a bona fide member of the party and a delegate or a member of the outgoing executive committee”. This clause is interpreted by analysts to cover anyone including those who may have resigned from the party. The amendments also extended full-fledged party membership to the UDP Diaspora. According to the new amendments, the Party’s national assembly member shall be its constituency heads and shall preside over the constituency executive meetings. The congress also increased the executive positions from 30 to 33. The three-day event, which ended with a mass rally yesterday, featured representations from the various political parties including GDC leader Mamma Kandeh. All 33 executive positions were filled unopposed after some nominated candidates withdrew to promote a census and unity within the party ranks into the executive committee. The new executive led by Ousainu Darboe includes new comers like Abdoulie Suku Singhateh, a former APRC National Assembly member and political heavy weight in the Baddibus. Another, Kemo Ceesay the finance director of the Gambia Football Federation was also elected deputy national treasurer as Tombong Saidy, a former GRTS director general who is now the UDP administrative secretary for external affairs.]]>

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