By Juldeh Njie
The National Convention Party NCP, faction led by Majanko Samusa has reacted to the suspension levied on the party by the Independent Electoral Commission, saying their decision is “not based on any sound legal or logical foundation”.
In a statement made available to The Standard, Samusa said they reject the move in “totality”.
The statement reads in part:
“Section 127 which the IEC quoted relies on the principle of “Standards and rules of natural justice and fairness”. But the IEC’s decision is certainly a flagrant violation of the rules of natural justice and fairness.
Our stance is based on the fact that the National Convention Party did hold a legitimate congress on December 26, 2018 as mandated by the laws of this country.
The said congress was attended by a majority of the past executive of the party with countrywide representation of the party’s membership and the decisions taken at the congress, including the membership of the newly elected executive was duly conveyed to the IEC as required by law. Our letter, addressed to the IEC, dated 26 December 2018, conveying the outcome of the congress is of relevance.
If a minority renegade group decided to convene another gathering in the name of a congress, without any legal basis from the constitution of our party, then that congress and any decisions taken there become null and void under any civilized dispensation.
In a letter dated 13, December 2018, we duly informed the IEC about our decision to dismiss three renegade members of our executive in line with the constitution of the party. In the same letter we formally informed IEC about our plans for the legally sanction congress of our party. Our decision to dismissed Badara Sidibeh, ,Buba Jadama and Yaya Marong from our executive was also conveyed to IEC through our letter dated December 4th 2018.
It is therefore very disappointing that the IEC would disregard all these logical facts and take a decision to suspend our party without any due backing of the law or logic.
To our surprise and dismay, the IEC’s latest communication to the NCP dated January 18, 2019 was also addressed to Badara Sidibeh as well even though this man and his minority three members of our executive are effectively defectors from our party.
We all know that The Gambia’s political history has shown us examples of the disaffection within the ranks of majority political parties and the way to settle such grievances had been the resignation of the disaffected members who when on to create their own political parties; to wit, the decision of the late Sheriff M Dibba and his colleagues to quit the PPP and create their own party, the NCP. The late Hassan Musa Camara also left PPP to create The Gambia people’s party (GPP).
Accordingly, those who may not have been happy with our party had an option, and that is to quit and create their own party. But to go ahead and initiate a parallel without any legal bases and thereby influence the national electoral body to take such an adverse decision against one of the oldest parties in this country is indeed both a travesty of justice and dangerous precedent in the orderly and democratic running of political parties in this country which are actually the bedrocks of our democracy.
In view of the forgoing, we reiterate our stance that we reject and condemn the decision taken by the IEC to suspend our party. We Urged IEC to reconsider this decision in the interest of democracy and fair play.”