By Omar Bah
Gambia Moral Congress leader, Mai Ahmad Fatty, has confirmed to The Standard that he will contest the Wuli West National Assembly seat.
Since forming his party in 2009, this is the first time Mr Fatty has stood for any elective office.
The former Interior minister and presidential adviser attempted to stand in the December presidential election but his nomination papers were rejected by the electoral commission.
But in a Standard exclusive yesterday, Fatty explained: “I can confirm that insha’Allah, I shall contest the Wuli West seat in URR, for very important reasons, all of which are connected to the statutory significance of parliament within the context of governance.
“I shall use my membership of parliament to strengthen our independent national sovereignty and territorial integrity. I will encourage legislation that will accord preferential treatment to Gambian businesses, especially on tax matters, and support overall reform efforts. I will work to introduce legislation allowing NAMs to speak Gambian languages in parliament. We must Gambianise our governance processes.”
He said parliament is “the most powerful institution” in our democracy.
“It is the central nervous system of the government, and nothing functions without it. This is primarily because it has the onerous duty of effecting accountable governance. Our constitution imposes the NA as the aorta of accountability. Accountability serves as the barometer for success or failure in our development trajectory… I view parliament as a creative centre of consolidating a robust standing in the germination of rewarding careers in public affairs, as well as a potentially solid canal to distinguished statesmanship. Also my orientation as a legal practitioner places me in a unique position,” he said.
Fatty said serving as a parliamentarian will “complete” his journey and help prepare him for “more challenging tasks in nation-building”.
“My focus will be more on enhancing and consolidating effective oversight duties over institutions. I will do this working together with my colleagues, building team spirit and partnerships. My second goal is to work with the executive on public finance and resource management, human capital development and social inclusion,” he noted.
This, he added, is an effective path to transparency in governance processes, accountability and eliminating waste and corruption.
“We can fight poverty, spur growth, generate employment opportunities and deliver high quality social services. I also want to improve the working relationship between the executive and parliament. The current atmosphere is toxic and it’s a disservice to citizens,” he added.
Asked about his chances of winning, Fatty said: “Elections are always unpredictable. As the saying goes, pigs might fly. I can assure you that I have a very strong and effective integrated grassroots support base in Wuli West, built over the years.
“I am therefore cautiously optimistic of a successful outcome. We shall conduct clean and dignified campaigns based on issues and respect for opposing candidates. We are not at war. I value their sacrifice and commitment to national development but I am absolutely convinced that I am a better choice for candidate,” he said.
Mr Fatty also disclosed that GMC is “still screening candidates and hopefully the process will be completed this weekend”.