Dear President MackySall,
The United Democratic Party presents its compliments and fraternal greetings to Your Excellency President of the Republic of Senegal and the Party Leader of the Alliance Pour la R?publique -APR.
I am writing on behalf of the National Executive Committee of the United Democratic Party-UDP, the Minority Leader of the National Assembly of the Gambia and the Mayors of Banjul, the Capital City of the Gambia and the Kanifing Municipality, and the Chairpersons of West Coast Region and Lower River Region Local Government Authorities of the Gambia and indeed on my own behalf to offer my personal commendations on your decision not to be a candidate in the forthcoming Presidential Elections of the sister Republic of Senegal.
Your Excellency I have listened attentively to your broadcast to your people in which you place great emphasis on the primacy of peace in national affairs. I found your broadcast to be statesmanlike, patriotic and the voice of a genuine democrat. Confirming once again your Excellency’s democratic credentials and personal commitment to peaceful means for peaceful ends.
While we applaud your democratic stance Mr. President, as West Africans we are aware that our sub region is going through a democratic recession, this is seen in the republics of Mali, Guinea Conakry, and Burkina Faso, all three are currently under sanctions by the ECOWAS Commission. We pray that other leaders in our sub region and African continent will follow your great example and not seek third terms. And to accept once and for all that term limits for the highest office in any democratic nation is not merely a matter of constitutional or legal restraints against self-perpetuation, it is in fact a democratic imperative of the modern age.
In this regard I am reminded of your principled stand during one of the ECOWAS Summits of Heads of States in Abuja where only the Gambia and Togo refuse to endorse the Protocol on term limits for West African leaders. I firmly believe that our sub region and our continent must evolve to be a place where the respect for human rights and the observance of the rule of law is the abiding creed of good governance.
May I take this opportunity to applaud your Excellency’s visionary Plan Senegal Emergent: The modernisation, infrastructural development, and rebranding of Senegal during your term of office is a matter of public record. Your Excellency’s solid track record of impactful leadership in ECOWAS and AU and recently the African Leaders Peace Mission to Russia and Ukraine have firmly cemented your status as one of most influential Statesmen of the 21st century and the seminal role you have played in the transition of the Gambia from autocracy to democracy.
I pray to almighty Allah: the most merciful, the most beneficent make your remaining time in office to be productive peaceful and fulfilling for you personally and for the Republic of Senegal a successful and peaceful campaign in coming months. Please Sir, accept the assurances of my highest consideration and fraternal esteem.
ANM Ousainu Darboe (Former Vice President of the Republic of the Gambia)
Secretary General & Party Leader