By Lamin Cham The United Democratic Party and two other members of the Coalition—the NRP and the GMC—yesterday presented their proposal for the ruling Coalition’s approach to next month’s parliamentary election. A joint statement by the trio read by UDP leader and Foreign minister Ousainou Darboe assured Coalition supporters across the country that their parties will never undermine Coalition leader President Adama Barrow, nor will they encourage any split in the movement. “On the contrary, our proposal of a tactical alliance between the coalition members is the surest way of consolidating the unity and survival of the Coalition,” Mr Darboe said. He explained that under the tactical alliance, parties would sponsor candidates in the constituencies where they are sure or satisfactorily believed to be stronger than any other party in the Coalition. ”In that case no other coalition member will contest that particular seat but rather they will all come together to support and campaign for that candidate,” Darboe added. According to the proposal, a tactical alliance will also ensure that multi-party democracy is maintained, as each MP will belong to a party in the House. “Since the leaders of the parties are members of the coalition government it is laughable that they will undermine that government or president,” he argued. Mr Darboe further said the idea of putting up independent candidates in all 53 constituencies without party affiliation will bring chaos as the MPs would be loosed canons without any sense of belonging. According to Darboe the UDP, NRP and GMC stand by their proposal believing that it is in the best interest of the Coalition and their supporters around the world and hoping that other members of the Coalition will see the logic and sense it in it. Supporting the proposal Mai Ahmed Fatty of the GMC clarified that the Coalition is not a legally registered political party, rather it was a strategic alliance used to help oust the dictatorship of the APRC. “This alliance signed an agreement in October which stopped at putting up a single presidential candidate for the presidential election but did not cover the parliamentary election. The strategy we are envisaging is again the best method to continue the journey to institute the reforms promised by the Coalition,” Fatty said. The NRP leader Hamat Bah and Minister of Tourism said contrary to what is being rumored, they the party leaders will be the last persons to undermine the Adama Barrow government. “This press briefing is therefore called to clarify the false assumptions and rumours,” he noted. As a show of solidarity and support to their parties’ proposal, hundreds of supporters packed the hall to listen to a translated version of the statement in all local languages. The press conference followed one hosted by Coalition spokesman Halifa Sallah of PDOIS, another member of the coalition who said members except UDP and NRP have agreed to a proposal for the Coalition to contest the elections using independent candidates under the name of the coalition. On Saturday President Adama Barrow said on his arrival from Senegal that the Coalition will contest the election as a coalition but did not elaborate, or state which option he prefers.]]>
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By Tabora Bojang A number of lawmakers seen as sympathetic to President Barrow yesterday boycotted a parliamentary vote called to slash funds in the 2021...
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