The National Convention Party (NCP) said it opposes what the party considers an “ill-advised decision” by the national electoral authorities to suspend their party.
The Independent Electoral Commission has announced few weeks ago that it was suspending the NCP due to dispute in the party which divided them into two factions.
But the faction led by Majanko Samusa said the decision taken by the IEC is not based on any sound legal or logical foundation.
“…Therefore we reject this move in its totality. The section, 127 of the Elections Act, cited in the IEC’s letter dated January 18, 2019, on the above subject referenced AGC 102/119/PART 1/(52) cannot negate our constitutional right to operate as a bonafide political party. That section 127 relies on the principle of “standards and rules of natural justice and fairness”,” stated the press release.
“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 country-wide representation of the party’s membership and the decisions taken at that congresses, 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 26th 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 civilised dispensation. In a letter dated 13th December 2018, we duly informed the IEC about our decision to dismiss 3 renegade members of our executive in line with the constitution of our party. In the same letter we formally informed IEC about our plans for the legally sanctioned congress of our party. Our decision to dismiss Badara Sidibeh, Buba Jadama and Yaya Marong from our executive was also conveyed to IEC through our letter dated December 4, 2018. It is therefore very disappinting 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 3 members of our executive are effectively defectors from our party. We all know that the Gambia’s political history has shown us examples of disaffection within the ranks of major political parties and the way to settle such grievances had been the resignation of the disaffected members who went 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 congress without any legal basis 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 foregoing, we reiterate our stance that we reject and condemn the decision taken by the IEC to suspend our party. We urge IEC to reconsider this decision and do the right thing in the interest of democracy and fair play.”