CRPD Dismayed By President Barrow’s Comment, Urges Him To Follow Democratic Principles
The Center for Research and Policy Development [CRPD] in a statement expressed its dismay by President Barrow’s recent statement and called on him to follow democratic principles.
“The CRPD is dismayed and also troubled by President Barrow’s statement and therefore, calling on him to adhere to democratic principles and the rule of law. President Barrow must be reminded that among other things, he was elected on the basis of ending self-perpetuating rule and to return this country to a functioning democratic state,” it said in a statement on Monday.
The non-profit and nonpartisan social research, advocacy and capacity building organization said the head of state’s statement is “undemocratic and against the very principle under which he [Barrow] was elected in 2016”.
“Consequently, his latest threat to restrict and regulate the democratic space after the forthcoming Presidential Election is undemocratic and against the very principle under which he was elected in 2016. President Barrow’s remarks are regrettable as they pose a risk for Gambia’s fledgling democracy. Therefore, we call on President Barrow to be mindful of his seemingly populist statements and instead focus on bridging the social divide in the country. His latest statement will undoubtedly further exacerbate the political polarization and divisions in the country, ahead of the December Presidential Election,” CRPD described the statement.
The civil society organization stated its readiness to defend, through civic actions and legal means, the democratic space in the Gambia against any threat that has the potential to undermine or compromise the Gambia’s democratic process.
Similarly, the CRPD has also called on the Gambia Police Force to distance itself from such ‘reckless remarks and unlawful directives’.
“Members of the Police are expected to protect life and property and should not; in any way, allow themselves to be an impediment to the growth of democracy in the country. It is also time for The Gambia Police Force to unequivocally conduct itself as professional, a pro-democracy rule of law institution that respects and upholds the rule of law,” the statement added.
The Center informed that the participation of political parties and citizenry in the political process is central to democracy and therefore, any attempt to limit or control the participation would undermine Gambia’s democratic consolidation.
The Center for Research and Policy Development [CRPD] is an independent, non-profit and nonpartisan social research, advocacy and capacity building organization committed to promoting inclusive democratic governance in The Gambia.
It has recently emerged victorious in the suit it jointly filed with The Gambia Participates against the Lord Mayor of Banjul City Council on her issuance of attestation for claimants in the just concluded general voter registration.