|Mai Fatty GMC Party Leader|
The opposition party, Gambia Moral Congress on March 27, 2011 held a mass political rally at Sanchaba, West Coast Region, where issues of good governance and the rule of law, the economy, employment and Education, and foreign policy at the heart of the event.
The Assistant Youth Mobiliser Muhammed Fatty, on behalf of the party leader lawyer Mai Fatty, said the great suffering in the country is not a secret to all those assembled at the rally. He said market prices are increasing while people’s income decreases.
“To maintain a decent life and to take care of family responsibilities is a very difficult burden on family heads. You all know that every year this difficulty keeps increasing without improvements on people’s living standards,” he said.
He added that the party’s vision is to reform, diversify, expand and industralise the country’s economy. He argued that there is no advance economy in the world that is not an industralised economy.
He said the Gambia is a small country with a small population. “GMC believes that hunger and starvation will end if it is voted into power because it is committed to agricultural productivity.”
On employment and education, he said: “You all know that the rate of unemployment in the country is very high. I want all those who do not have jobs but want to have to raise your hands. You see almost everyone here is without a job.”
How can we have a successful society if our people are without jobs, he asked, while telling supporters that they may not be powerful in government but it is them who gave power to those in government.
According to him, education, training, human capital development and job creation are the priorities for GMC and that they will invest heavily in these sectors if elected into office.
On trade and industry, he said GMC believes that the private sector is the engine of growth and without a thriving private sector; the economy cannot experience rapid growth. “The private sector should provide new employment opportunities as well as take the lead in research, technology development, education and services,” he said, arguing that the sector is not growing due to the lack of an effective environment.
He stressed that the role of government should be limited to creating enabling conditions for the private sector to grow, policy guidance and regulation.
With regards to public services delivery such as electricity, water among others, the government should encourage the creation of strong consumer organisations to control excesses of utility companies.
On health and social welfare, he said the health of Gambians is a priority to the GMC and the party has already developed a “health sector reform policy” paper containing broad aspects of health policy issues and challenges currently existing in the sector.
On gender, he said women are equal partners in national development and for this reason, they shall implement policies that promote the welfare of women and eliminate gender imbalance in many areas of national development.
Saluting the female lawyers association, FLAG, and women across the country, he said: “we are committed to the prosperity of Gambia women and we will not relent in fighting for your welfare.”
He said the party was founded on the principles of human rights, believes in equality before the law, and an independent judiciary. He said nobody in the country should be victimized for expressing their opinions, such as being arrested or prosecuted for speaking about the situation of the Gambia.
“The Gambian Constitution gives the right for the media to be free because a true democracy cannot exist in the absence of a free press. GMC believes that a free press promotes accountability, good governance and consolidates genuine participatory democracy,” he said, while urging for thorough investigations into the death of Deyda Hydara and the disappearance of Chief Ebrima Manneh and the subsequent prosecution of the perpetrators.
On foreign policy, he emphasized that if the GMC is voted for, the Republic of Senegal will discover an honest partner for peace, security and development in a GMC government.
A GMC government, he said will advance the cause of African unity through regional integration, and lead efforts at the highest level for the achievement of an ECOWAS of Peoples instead of an ECOWAS of States.
Mai Fatty was appointed along with six others to serve in an ECOWAS Technical Committee on Internal Democracy in West Africa to create a Charter on Internal Democracy for implementation in all member countries in ECOWAS.
He condemns the killings in Libya and said Gbagbo has become a danger to his own people, while endorsing the positions of ECOWAS, the AU and the UN. He said GMC does not believe that the New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) fosters a culture of begging and that our faith in NEPAD is at the center of commitment to Pan-Africanism. He said NEPAD’s fundamental priority is to promote regional integration.
He said the party believes in multilateral diplomacy particularly within the context of the UN, the Commonwealth, Organisation of the Islamic conference, etc.
“We believe in consolidating relations with the European Union and its member states and consider the United States as a global power who should use its power for the benefit of human development and peace,” he said.
On national unity, he said the party belongs to Gambians and GMC is against tribalism, regionalism, nepotism, gender discrimination, racism and cult patronage everywhere and at all times. “We are for national unity, the territorial integrity of The Gambia, peace and stability based on genuine democratic principles, and we are against corruption and maladministration,” he told party supporters.
“We invite you to join our great party where you will find no fear, no compulsion and no retribution. We welcome you to join us in building a new Gambia, a stronger nation where freedom, human dignity, economic prosperity, compassion and the rule of law are the enforceable guiding principles,” he concluded.