Darboe says the office of the president must observe good manners
Jammeh says he will accept results if defeated
|Voters dropped marbles into containers marked with the contestant's names [AFP]|
“I was disappointed by the disgraceful and outrageous fabrication by the office of the President that my convoy attacked the ruling party APRC supporters at a military check point at Camp Fenda . There could not be more fabrication than that,” lawyer Ousainou Darboe said on Thursday shortly after casting his ballot at a polling station at Fajara, while describing the election campaign as peaceful.
“I want to tell the office of the president that they should act with decorum. This is what can bring disrespect for the office of the president. If an institution as high that can engage in fabrication, I think this country is in for trouble.”
The Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC) – led by the incumbent, Yahya Jammeh had on the eve of the casting of the ballots accused the United Democratic Party (UDP) of attacking his convoy during the final days of the campaign. His claim was relayed in a press statement through the “office of the president”.
However, Mr Darboe said “it was supporters of the APRC who threw stones at the UDP supporters and that the Army Commander at Camp Fenda had to drive-out literally a vehicle of the APRC that got into his convoy. “Where it not for the Army commander in charge of that area, there would have been a problem,” Darboe said.
“Nobody will suppress our people in this country, if those people think that they are in charge of the security and that they can do whatever they want, they are making a mistake. Nobody will subject our people to any mock trial in this country. We have always been law abiding.”
He also noted that his expects to emerge victorious and would be disappointed if that did not happen, while adding that the people of the Gambia are now ready to take charge of their destiny. “Our expectation of victory is not just a fancy but delegated on the behavior and attitude of the people.”
“Well just go to McCarthy Square (now July 22nd Square), you will find armored vehicles packed there, that show intimidation because it is intended to intimidate the people in that area as if we are in a state of conflict. I am sure the same would be the case in Foni,” Darboe responded when asked about his view on ECOWAS’s position on Gambia’s election.
The Sub-regional grouping decision withdrew from monitoring the elections, and proclaims on the eve of the polls that it will neither be free nor fair on grounds that everything is happening under a climate of fear.
“This is one of the reasons why ECOWAS have decided to stay away. However, we want this election to be as peaceful as possible. I tried to speak with the IEC Chairman, Alhagie Mustapha L. Carayol but I could not get him.”
When Yahya Jammeh, APRC candidate casted his ballot, he told the media that he can’t speak on ECOWAS’s position because Commissioner James Victor Ghebo who made the statement “is just like a Permanent Secretary in his government”.
He also dismisses the possibility of” working” with the opposition provided that he wins the elections.
“I do not have any opposition in this country and I will not work with them,” Jammeh said. “If they were people who want peace and stability for this country, am ready to work with them. They have gone around the world to tarnish the image of this country, in this country, we fear only God, and I will not follow anybody. I follow God and my religion and my people. ”
No body can tell me about democracy, Jammeh argued. “In 17 years I have delivered more than what the British were able to deliver in more than 400 years of misrule in this country,” he stressed but says he will accept the results if he looses.
Mr. Hamat Bah, the Independent Candidate casted his vote at his native rural-Gambia (Saloum district) and was no available for comment, but the Secretary General of People for Democratic Organisation for Independence and Socialism (PDOIS), Mr Halifa Sallah speak to the press after casting his ballot at the Serrekunda Plaza Centre.
Mr Sallah, whose party is one of four, backing the candidature of Mr Bah, said people must respect the decision by the West African economic bloc, ECOWAS.
“They do not look at who has acquired a voter card, who is at this polling station and what the campaign is like. They look at the generality of our institutions, they came to the country and look at all our institutions and they have taken a position so people should respect that,” he said. “So you can ask them why they have taken that position and they will be able to explain if they are responsible people.”
Polling stations have officially closed in Banjul at 4pm local time. A high turnout of voters has been recorded.
- Author: Modou S. Joof