By Amadou Jadama
Lawyer and politician Assan Martin has said President Adama Barrow should not be not given a fresh mandate in the December presidential poll. He said Gambians deserve a new man with radically different ideas to usher in real change.
Mr Martin told The Standard earlier this week: “When we look at the mandate of this government given the transitional arrangement, we realise that there has been a lot of failure with all the reforms and because of that Barrow does not deserve another five years. Based on what we see everyday, the fact is he is only interested in maintaining his stranglehold on power and not necessarily optimally performing his duties as head of state. Left, right, up and down, all we see are a litany of failures; rising youth unemployment of youth and corruption.
“Therefore, Gambians deserve a new president and a new government that will bring in real change so that we can have a real system change. We need a new dispensation which will promote political inclusivity so that we can fix this country and ensure that the culture of corruption and incompetence is rooted out.
“We have seen a lot of pick-up vehicles and mini-buses with NPP tags roaming the streets. Who is paying for these vehicles, who is fuelling them? These answers needed to be made public when our schools and hospital are run so dismally? Gambians must girdle their waists because Barrow wants to continue being the president at any cost and he will stop at nothing to see to this.
“We have to be vigilant and make sure that the IEC does its work properly. We have to stop foreigners getting voter cards and voting in our elections. If we find anybody who is registered illegally the law should take its course. The opposition parties and other stakeholders should not compromise on the issue of fraudulent registration. Our eyes are open and we will not allow any foreign elements to register or participate in our electoral process.
“We have to be careful about introducing novel elements so lately in the election process. Gambians are not yet ready for paper ballots because there would not be enough sensitisation. The IEC must remember that they are referees; we the Gambians are the political players and if we say we are not in for paper ballots, the IEC cannot force it on us.”