By Omar Bah
Nine registered political parties that form The Gambia`s Inter-Party Committee yesterday announced the setting up of regional committees in a move designed to tackle political intolerance in the country.
Speaking on behalf of the committee at the IEC building, PDOIS secretary general and co-chairperson of the committee, Halifa Sallah, said his team has agreed to set the ball rolling in terms of operations and institutionalisation of their code of conduct.
“We have set-up regional committees; two male and female coming from each registered party. We will sensitise them on the code of conduct and give them the responsibility of conducting civic education on the code of conduct in collaboration with our partners towards national reconciliation and the consolidation of democracy in The Gambia,” he said.
He said peaceful and stable political environment underpinned by a transparent plural democratic political dispensation is vital for The Gambia’s prosperity and the future of her people.
“We express our conviction again that dialogue and cooperation between parties and the people provide the basis for sustaining peace and democracy. We have agreed to put all differences aside and work constructively towards national reconciliation and consolidation of democracy, good governance, due process, respect for fundamental rights and rule of law in The Gambia,” he said.
He said as a committee they have established all the elements in terms of languages to be use, separations of powers, accepting the outcomes of fair elections, dispute resolutions and institutions to be able address any grievances that may arises from election processes.
“We have agreed as a committee that from henceforth all members of the Inter-Party Committee shall resort to the inter-party committee to tackle matters affecting political parties. Because we believe that it is through the Inter-Party Committee that we could do so more effectively,” he said
Sallah added: “We therefore expect if parties are on the ground and they have any differences among themselves the first task is to bring that to the committee for its resolution.”
He explained that in the case of a party breaching the law, the police would act, whereas in the case of a party violating its mandate which gives birth to its existence as a party then it is left to the IEC to deal with the matter.
Sallah said if political parties, government and IEC as partners respect the Inter-Party Committee, “then it would be absolutely essential that when they have complaints which infringe upon our own code of conduct they are duty-bound to resort to the Inter-Party Committee for remedies. If we maintain these three frontiers, we should be able to guide the political dispensation in this country,” he concluded.