Dr. Mai Ahmad Fatty of the Gambian Moral Congress
Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com
By William Yaw Owusu
Monday, May 25, 2015
The Gambian opposition is rallying international support to force President Yahya Jammeh not to stand for elections for a fifth term in office.
One of the leaders, Dr. Mai Ahmad Fatty who stood as Presidential Candidate of Gambia Moral Congress (GMC) in 2011 appealed passionately to world leaders especially those in the West African sub-region to persuade President Jammeh to abandon his fifth term ambition.
Addressing the media in Accra yesterday Dr Fatty who is the Chairman of ECOWAS Technical Committee on Internal Democracy, criticized President Jammeh for being a ‘dictator’ and said he appears to have established himself as life president.
He said without pressure to ensure electoral reforms, the President and his gang will rule the Gambia forever saying “the Gambia is the only country in the world that is using stones instead of ballot papers for elections in the 21st Century.”
The opposition leader further said that President Jammeh’s continuous abuse of human rights, constitutional violations, stifling of the opposition and muzzling the media has brought the Gambia on its knees.
“We want the ECOWAS community and the whole of Africa to know about what is going on in the Gambia. There is widespread abuse of human rights, torture corruption and nepotism and there is widespread economic hardship which has forced a lot of the youth to embark on perilous journeys on the Mediterranean.”
“If you close the door to official opposition, you open the same door to unofficial opposition and things could explode if the situation persists,” the leader of the GMC said.
He said since the December 30, 2014 abortive coup, there had been mass arrests and many people had been in detention without trial for many months.
Dr. Fatty said that key reforms such as limiting the president’s term of office to two as well as ensuring that elections are held for a second time if there is not declared winner in the first were the best options to get the Gambia out of the current dictatorship.
“The good people of the Gambia are living in a state of fear. President Jammeh and his men have put terror in the people and they are doing things with impunity,” he said.
He said “rule of law is dead in the Gambia. Judges are dismissed at will and people are detained without trial while others are tortured and killed for fighting for freedom. He does not respect international protocols and conventions that ensure a just society.”
Dr. Fatty said his party will not get involved in the next election if President Jammeh contests for a fifth term since it would be a mere formality.
He appealed to ECOWAS leaders to “bring their experience to bear on the Gambia by pressing Mr. Jammeh to enforce ECOWAS Protocols.”
“We are not asking for subversion but we believe it is their legal right to ask our President to enforce the protocols which he continues to ignore.