The GDC, a major opposition party has been denied a permit for a rally in Brikama following its leader’s allegation of corruption against the government, a senior official of the party said on Friday.
Kandeh, who was invited by the police’s Criminal Investigation Division for questioning over the allegations said last week Gambian ministers were diverting loans and aid from international partners into their private pockets.
The opposition has called the denial “a sad day for democracy” and accused the government of using the police to intimidate them to curtail their effort to hold them accountable.
“We have been denied the permit by the police to hold our rally in Brikama. Today is a sad day as far as democracy is concerned. We haven’t done anything that should warrant the permit denial,” said MC Cham, a senior GDC official.
“The police are acting out of malice to issue such denial. We are really disappointed with the police. Our rights as citizens of the Gambia have been violated by the police.”
Pro-democracy campaigners say denying the GDC a permit is worrying after the country voted to end more than two decades of autocratic rule and political intimidation.
Kandeh came third, behind ex-President Yahya Jammeh is last year’s election. He had declined to join the coalition that succeeded in defeating Jammeh.
Although a new party, Kandeh’s GDC won five seats in April parliamentary polls, giving it a strong voice in Parliament by to influence decisions if it joins forces with other opposition legislators.