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City of Banjul
Friday, January 22, 2021

GPU congress deferred amid controversy

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On the day that a new executive was to be elected to steer the affairs of the union for the next three years, only 25 members were cleared to vote prompting an outcry.

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“We had made applications and paid for 50 people at the GPU for which we were given receipts. I made numerous efforts to confirm the status of our applications. Since eight months ago and the lead up to this congress, I made efforts to follow up. I believe this was an attempt to stop us from becoming members and having voting rights. This is not fair and is against the constitution because you cannot deny members their right to vote when they fulfill membership requirements”, queried Daily Observer No 2 man, accountant Mustapha Bojang.

Also weighing in on the debate, Today newspaper proprietor, Abdul Hamid Adiamoh postulated that going ahead with the congress when the majority of members were not able to vote will be “inappropriate and constitutes a “travesty” of the process.

“What we should do is to defer the congress and appoint an interim executive to steer the affairs of the union until such a time that elections can be held in the right conditions.”

In his riposte to these criticisms, President Emil Touray said it would be wrong to allow members to vote who have not settled their dues, declaring such an action will constitute a “violation of the constitution”.

He added: “We cannot step down and set up an interim committee decided by members here who have in fact not paid their dues. I must say that will amount to a constitutional coup d’état. The reason for deferring the congress is not because of people here but it was a valid point that the quorum has not been met. So, we ask for time to put our house in order to address those concerns before the congress to do things properly.”

By anonymous decision of members present, the congress was deferred and on 10 January 2015, a general meeting will be held to put things together for a congress which will now be held at a date to be announced. The outgoing executive were given three months to hand over.

Meanwhile, secretary general Gibairu Janneh presented the financial and activities report of the outgoing executive over the period.


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