Gambia’s President Adama Barrow will not excuse the use of official vehicles for partisan politics, Information Minister Demba Jawo said.
The condemnation came after a memo from Barrow’s office ordered for government departments to give vehicles to candidates put up by parties backing his presidency.
Barrow last week rescinded the decision and the vehicles that were already given were returned.
“It is quite at variance with the policy and comportment of this government and, therefore, as soon as it came to the notice of the competent authorities, the two vehicles in question were immediately withdrawn and returned to their respective units of assignment,” Jawo said.
Gambia’s former government impounded official vehicles for political campaigns, a practice that Barrow’s administration says “is a thing of the past.”
“I wish to make it categorically clear to all concerned that there should be a clear distinction between State matters and partisan politics and, henceforth, the two should be treated as separate entities…. the use of government vehicles and other State resources for “purely partisan politics is a thing of the past, which shall no longer be condoned,” according to Mr. Jawo.
Campaigns have already started ahead of next month’s parliamentary election. The coalition of eight opposition groups that united to bring Barrow to power has fallen apart. They have pitched candidates against one another after an attempt at a tactical alliance failed.