“The People’s Progressive Party (PPP), established by ordinary Gambians, pledges to protect and advance the interests and welfare of The Gambia and its people through the promotion of Political Tolerance, Peace and Stability and holding government and its structures accountable to Gambians.
Fellow Gambians, I am here to share with you the rationale of our party’s position to support the extension of President Barrow’s mandate from three to five years. You may all be aware that Coalition 2016 and Gambians came together to save our country from the dangers of instability and its incalculable consequences.
We, the PPP Executive Committee concluded that the weakening of Coalition 2016 is the fault of all of us, President Barrow included. More effort could and should have been done to ensure that the activities of the 2016 Coalition MOU would be implemented within the agreed three years. However, Politics is a fluid process with many adjustments to maximize the services it renders to its citizens. So, actions and decisions were taken as the situation unfolded.
In reaching our decision to support the extension of President Barrow’s mandate to five years, we had asked ourselves and other coalition partners to answer the following questions:
1. Taking into account the peace and security of Gambians, what is in our BEST interest, three or five years?
2. How much of the initial 2016 MOU activities were achieved with specific references to the commissions and reforms to be carried out?
3. Who takes over the Presidency if we go for three years instead of the five years?
4. How and where do we mobilize resources to fund elections if we opt for three years?
The People’s Progressive Party, however request President Barrow to complete the following commitments before the next elections in 2021:
1. Complete the Security Sector Reform. This will instill confidence back in the minds of Gambians by ensuring that they are accountable and professional in their duties.
2. Complete the Constitutional Review Commission and Electoral Reforms and organize a referendum before the next Presidential elections in 2021.
3. Act on the recommendations of the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparation Commission report to facilitate social cohesion.
4. Complete the much-needed Civil Service and Judicial Reforms to increase operational efficiency, professionalism, and reduction of corruption at all levels and guarantee an independent judiciary and legislator to instill good governance.
5. Undertake and complete the Land and Asset recovery commission to justly compensate affected Gambians.
The President is also advised to review the present Cabinet and appoint a Government of technocrats after due consultation with all the Coalition 2016 partners and that all future appointments are based solely on merit, experience, and soundtrack record.
For the three years Jotna Movement, I urge the Inspector General of Police to issue the permit if requested and provide security for them to exercise their constitutional rights. Nonetheless, the three years Jotna Movement must also adhere to the letter and spirit of the permit to be granted to them. PPP will protect and defend the rights of all Gambians.
We firmly believe that once these reforms and commissions are completed and recommendations acted upon, they will be the bedrock for ensuring peace, stability, security, and will pave the way for a level playing field in the coming elections.
Mohamadou Musa Njie (Papa)
Peoples’ Progressive Party
Secretary General and Party Leader”