Monday, March 27

Return of Gambia to Commonwealth after first election of President Barrow was a great joy – SG of Commonwealth

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By: Nyima Sillah

The Secretary General of the Commonwealth, Patricia Scotland has said the return of The Gambia to Commonwealth was a great joy.

“Gambia since 1965 has been a member but left in 2013 after former President Jammeh’s withdrawal so coming back after the first election of President Barrow was a great joy because Gambia has always been a much-loved member of the Commonwealth. Therefore, the leaving was sad but the return in 2018 was wonderful,” she said.

Also Gambia, she said, is a special friend as four years ago, when the Gambia re-joined the Commonwealth, it felt like a beloved brother or sister, a prodigal son coming back home.

“Our world faces profound and serious challenges, but I truly believe that the Gambia will shine like a beacon across the Commonwealth, just as the Commonwealth will shine like a beacon across the world because at a time when democracy is under strain in many parts of our world, democracy in the Gambia is getting stronger,” she added.

“I hope the example of the Gambia’s journey will not only provide a strong foundation for the Gambia’s future but will also help to heal injured democratic processes in other places.”

“As we speak has a very strong relationship with the Commonwealth and as a result, before the December 4th election, over 130 Gambian officials were trained by the Commonwealth on Performance Management. We are determined to assist The Gambia to fulfil their aspirations in terms of the implementation of the rule of law, good practice, good governance, transparency and clarity as President Barrow envisages to make them priority,” she said.

So “I am very pleased to see a smooth and peaceful transition and democracy at work in The Gambia and it was wonderful to listen to President Barrow’s inaugural speech particularly the fact that he commended all those who put themselves forward to lead Gambia. I was overwhelmed when he indicated that he wished to be the president of all Gambians and not only those that voted for him.”