President Adama Barrow is urging new National Assembly Members to put the interest of electorate before party politics as he shades bipartisan support for his campaign promises.
Barrow has enough support to pass most of the bills he will be sending to parliament but faces the difficulty of uniting the deeply divided nation.
“We should avoid identity politics and work in the best interest of the country. Only conscience and integrity will bring the best out of us,” he said.
Barrow on Monday appointed five people to parliament but has at least a dozen representatives in the House, who are not from the UDP, the party he resigned from to lead the coalition.
The UDP won the majority of the seats in the parliament with clashes between its supporters and those of the ousted autocratic ruler, Yahya Jammeh erupting in West Coast Region.
“What is important is the ability of the appointees to carry out the functions assigned to them [MPs] with competence. There is only one common identity we have as citizens, that is, we are all Gambians,” President Barrow said.
Barrow’s Interior Minister, Mai Ahmad Fatty met with community leaders in southern Gambian city of Sibanor, in Foni Bintang and warned that authorities will crack a whip on any disturbances.
Jammeh’s APRC party, which won seats only in Foni are sure to unite with the GDC, a new opposition group, which also won five seats to oppose most of Barrow’s agenda.
The leaders of both parties rejected the outcome of last week’s election and vowed to have them challenged. International observers from the EU, ECOWAS and the African Union said the polls were transparent, free and fair.
Last week’s election as the first major vote since Jammeh’s ouster, and the first for no political party to win a super majority in the House since the country gained independence from Great Britain.