Gambia said it has not denied a major opposition party in the country a permit to hold a rally in the country’s second largest city, Brikama.
The opposition GDC accused the police of denying them a permit following the questioning of its party leader, Mama Kandeh over allegations he made accusing ministers of corruption.
The police said Kandeh’s party had made the request for the permit late and cited logistic concerns to provide security.
“As far as being denied a permit, that was not the case. GDC wasn’t denied a permit. GDC applied for a permit to hold a rally in Brikama and according to the police, the application was made few days, not quite enough notice was given,” said Information Minister, Demba Ali Jawo.
“The police had some logistical issues but they never actually denied them to hold the rally. The permit has been approved and they will hold their rally not just on the same day.”
A spokesperson for the GDC, Momodou Jallow had said earlier that the party applied for the permit on Monday and the rally was meant to be held on Saturday.
Activists are decrying the permit denial after GDC said some of its senior officials, who were in Banjul to apply for the permit were being asked to write down information not relevant for permit application.
The police refuted that it is targeting the GDC or any other political party, having given the PDOIS a permit to hold a rally in an undisclosed city.
GDC’s MC Cham Junior said the refusal to grant them the permit has been a sad day for Gambia and should concern every Gambian.
Gambia’s ex-dictator Yahya Jammeh has in the past used the law requiring political parties to apply for permits for a rally to suppress dissenting voices.