A Gambian Member of Parliament, Madi Ceesay [UDP –
Serrekunda West] has called for the ban on the former ruling party if its officials on celebrating a coup led by its exiled leader, Yahya Jammeh.
Ceesay calls the idea by the APRC to celebrate July 22 a mockery of democracy and joined President Adama Barrow in condemning the “glorification of a criminal subversion of the will of the people.”
“What happened on July 22, 1994, was a criminal act and should not be condoned by anybody. What happened on that day was an act of betrayal by the former president who was a member of the national army,” Ceesay said.
Ceesay said the APRC should be free to celebrate its party’s anniversary, which is in August but not the celebration of a coup that brought its leader to power.
Ex-President Jammeh was a former bodyguard of the country’s first post-colonial leader, Sir Dawda Jawara. He ousted Jawara in a coup and what followed was decades of repressive rule.
“Yes, we now have a new democracy in the Gambia, but we should all remember the fact that, democracy goes with the respect of rule of law,” said Ceesay.
President Barrow has warned against the celebration of the coup anniversary, stating strongly that “democracy cannot celebrate autocracy.”
Some human rights defenders have called for a total ban of the APRC but pro-democracy campaigners say the party must be allowed to exist to encourage multi-party democracy.
Jammeh was defeated in the polls in December and fled to Equatorial Guinea. His party has since lost its majority in the House of Representatives and only won five seats in the opposition stronghold of Foni.