|Henry Gomez GDPD Leader|
The Voice - The leader of the opposition, Gambia Party for Democracy and Development (GPDP) Mr. Henry Gomez has stressed that all political parties in The Gambia should be given a fair share if airtime in the State TV, GRTS to relay their manifestoes to their supporters.
According to him, it was important that political parties be given adequate time on television during presidential campaigns to be able to put out their messages to the electorate.
The Gambia will be heading to the polls come November 24, 2011, however, Mr. Gomez argued that the level of sensitization on the voter registration exercise, which is in progress, was not good enough.
He noted that parties to the November 24 pools should look into the interest of the nation and not their personal interests, because elections are national issues of which citizens have a right to make choices in their best interest.
In recognition of the importance of the voter card, he said the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) should ensure that all eligible voters are registered.
“The voter card is the only document which qualifies a citizen to have a say as to who should lead the country. The IEC cannot take comedians to the television to sensitize Gambians,” he argued.
“Comedians are film makers; politics belongs to the politicians and that being the case they should give the right people - the right job.”
Mr. Gomez feared that the 189, 897 voters registered countrywide during the first week of the exercise, may fall short of IEC’s total target of 800, 000 at the end of the campaign. “Am unimpressed about that situation,” he frowned.
The IEC had earlier noted that new voter cards cost the tax payers almost D65 million, and Gomez believe that the money spent on the registration exercise is too much to be wasted; hence, he is urging eligible voters to acquire voter cards.
He said the GDPD well prepared for the November 24 Elections and has since gone down to the provinces, mobilizing women and youths as well as addressing pertinent issues such as unemployment.
He said people need to realise that there is a need for changes. He noted that his party still stands by its core principles that presidents should not perpetuate themselves in office; hence a term limit is more appropriate.
According to him, come November 24, Gambia is going to have a new president not through violence but through the ballot box. He urged the IEC to ensure fair play in the build up to the polls.
He said Africa has been plagued by rebellions, coups and post election violence due to the incumbents’ desires to prolong their stay in power. “A president may have a vision, but that doesn’t mean that you have to stay in power until the vision is achieved, it doesn’t march with development,” he said.