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By Omar Bah

After much lampooning and branding as the sacred cow of the Independent Electoral Commission, the ruling National Peoples Party, which failed to hold a congress since its inception, has now confirmed it will hold one in December.

Confirming this to The Standard yesterday, the party spokesperson and minister of information, Lamin Queen Jammeh, said the NPP’s national executive committee has instituted a congress committee, which already toured the whole country to sensitise members through the party’s existing structures about the general and other congresses.


He said village and ward congresses have in fact started and will be followed by the constituency congresses and then the national congress.

“Preparations are in high gear; so certainly, a decision has been taken and there will be congress,” Minister Jammeh stated.

He said the final meeting for the congresses was held on Monday at the party secretariat.

Leadership positions

Minister Jammeh said all party positions, including the position of Secretary General, will be up for grabs at the congress and the members of the party will decide on who should take which position.

“So, the essence of any congress is to submit the party to the wishes of its members who constitute a congress. It will be difficult to pre-empt what would happen but the organising committee has managed to sensitise the members on the procedures and regulations of the congress which include their rights to express their opinions,” he said.

He said members are informed that all eligible persons can contest for all positions.

“Nobody can stop any eligible member from contesting for any position as long as the person has the support of the people. But let me hasten to dispel all rumours that the NPP might be confronted with problems at the congress. This is a total misconception and miscalculation of the realities in the party. We are united more than ever,” he said.

During the congress, according to Minister Jammeh, matters of national interest and the way forward for the country will be discussed and solutions will be sought.

He revealed that the congress will hold in the Kombos but the venue and exact date have not been finalised yet.   


Reacting to criticisms that the party refused to hold congress last December despite being due for one, Minister Jammeh argued: “Let me tell you this – there is no political party in this country that is more democratic or believes in the principles of democracy than the NPP beginning from the leadership to the last person. The law stipulates that all political parties should hold congresses at least every two years and before last December, NPP was less than two years.

“So, going by that law it will be wrong for anybody to point a finger at the NPP to say it has flouted any rules. We don’t flout any rules – the fact is that the NPP was less than two years so because of that, it was not duty bound on us to hold congress but now we know that we are due for congress and so congress shall be held.”

Mr Jammeh expressed disappointment that the very civil society organisations that are criticising the NPP do not understand the country’s electoral laws.

“We are considering these civil society organisations to be siding with anti-government positions which is absolutely wrong because civil society, to a large extent, should be neutral players and they should not be seen to be siding with one party or the other,” he said.