Gambia: President Barrow Welcomes New Political Parties

President Barrow has extended congratulations to the new political parties that are gracing the county's political landscape. In a press statement from Statehouse, the President said this is a testament of the dividends of democracy that came through the efforts and sacrifices made in the run-up to December 2016.

President Barrow made these remarks amid the registration of the eleventh political party and expectation of the registration of three more as reported by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC).

"The sacrifices and efforts we made to bring democracy to this country, is today being enjoyed by all. It is grounded on such development for everyone to enjoy its dividends," the President said in a meeting in Bondali on the 2nd December, which coincided with the victory celebration of his election into office.

Reassuring that the dark days of political oppression is long gone, the President pledged that his Government will continue to open up and expand the political space to accommodate political plurality and diversity. He recounted the challenges associated with opposition parties under the 22-year dictatorship describing it as risky business.

President Barrow congratulated the party leader of the opposition APRC party Fabakary Tombong Jatta, for coming out to welcome him upon arrival from his provincial tour during the weekend.

"It shows that our politics is maturing. We may belong to different groups but we should be able to conduct our politics with maturity," President Barrow said, adding that the Gambia belongs to everyone irrespective of political affiliation.

While in Foni, tourism and culture minister Hamat Bah, spoke of the great qualities of President Barrow, highlighting respect for the dignity of all without regard to tribe, religion or sectionalism. "He sought the Presidency for three months and succeeded when I tried for two decades without success," he said.

Minister Bah asked the people of Foni to rally behind the President and be part of the development band wagon. He urged the people of Kampassa to work with the Barrow Government to realize their development aspirations.

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