UDP won’t support any alteration in draft constitution – Darboe
Ousainou Darboe, the secretary general and leader of the country’s main opposition United Democratic (UDP), has warned that his party would “reject and will not support any alteration in the draft constitution” which the government intends to take to referendum.
“The United Democratic Party (UDP) lawmakers including other NAMs were the lawmakers that supported and voted in favour of the draft constitution when it was submitted to the National Assembly. However, it was so disappointing that an adviser to President Barrow made it clear during an interview with Kerr Fatou that they are going to kick out the draft constitution if it was tabled before the parliamentarians. This clearly shows that they don’t support the draft constitution,” Darboe said at a press conference held yesterday at the UDP political bureau in Manjai.
Meanwhile, President Adama Barrow has said in his New Year message that his government is committed to taking the draft constitution to referendum.
Regarding the draft constitution, the veteran politician added: “When the draft constitution was taken to the Assembly, Barrow’s NAMs and his allies voted against it. But let me make it very clear that even if a single portion of the draft constitution is removed, we will not support it and we will vote against it. We will not accept any changes in the draft constitution,” he warned.
Talking about what the new year has in store for The Gambia, the UDP leader claimed that “2024 will be worse” than 2023. He explained: “This year will be worse than 2023 because this government doesn’t care and doesn’t listen to what people say. They believe that no one on the surface of this earth will stop them from doing what they want to do. To them, they are more powerful than Yahya Jammeh because apart from the entire security apparatus in the country, they have the ECOMIG Forces in the country.”
Commenting on the government’s attempt to increase the presidential fee for registration of presidential candidates, Darboe said: “Any attempt to increase the fee is an attempt to suppress other candidates from contesting. This is not about UDP but about all candidates. UDP has the money and we can pay it. However, it would be difficult for independent candidates and others.”
Quizzed by journalists as to whether he (Darboe) would contest in the 2026 presidential election or give chance to others, Darboe said: “What I know is that I am currently the leader and secretary general of the UDP. When that time comes, we will know who UDP will select. For now, what I am doing is campaigning for people to join UDP.”
Source: The Point