By Omar Bah
The Inter-Party Committee (IPC) has elected NPP’s National Assembly Member for Basse and GDC’s senior administrative secretary as chairperson and co-chairperson for the next five years.
Saikou Bah and Samba Baldeh replaced Halifa Sallah and Musa Amul Nyassi who resigned from their positions last month. The IPC is an umbrella body for all the 18 registered political parties in The Gambia. Its main objective is to foster unity among parties as well as ensure violence free elections.
Newly elected chairperson Bah said he is committed to fostering unity among all political parties in the country.
“I am ready to serve all the members of the committee irrespective of party affiliation and I am committed to be non-partisan in dealings as chairperson of the committee,” he told The Standard yesterday.
Co-chair Samba Bah said his experience with the IPC since inception will help him serve the committee’s interest to the best of his ability.
“We will do our level best to ensure that we take the IPC to another level,” he said.
However, Bakary Ceesay, a member of the IPC youth branch, wrote to The Standard yesterday complaining about the lack of women’s representation in the IPC leadership positions for a second successive term.
He said the IPC should set a benchmark in equal representation and promote women’s leadership.
Ceesay urged all political parties to put pressure on the IPC to reconsider their decision and select a woman as co-chair.
But when asked to respond to Mr Ceesay complaints, Co-Chair Baldeh said the selection was done in two groups – the opposition selected the co-chair while the NPP and its partners selected the chairperson.
“So, on the side of the opposition, Aji Yama Secka was nominated but she declined citing her age and said she has a lot of responsibilities. There was no other lady at the meeting.” The selection of chairpersons was based on experience,” Baldeh added.