Opposition political party Gambia Democratic Congress (GDC) has on Tuesday expelled its two elected representatives at the National Assembly. The two members of Parliament Mama Kandeh’s party have expelled Hon. Salifu Jawo of Jokadu constituency and Hon. Kebba Jallow of Jarra Central constituency.
The GDC has written to the office of the Speaker of the National Assembly indicating that the party has expelled the two members of parliament from the party with immediate effect. Mama Kandeh’s party communique sent to the office of the National Assembly Speaker did not state any reason for the expulsion of its two members.
In a public sitting held this Tuesday, Hon. Kebba K. Barrow of Gunjur, deputizing for the Speaker of the National Assembly, accepted the communique and informed the expelled members that their seating arrangement would be changed to Independent Members of the Parliament in the National Assembly to distinguish them from the GDC parliamentarians.
Today’s known expulsion of the GDC parliamentarians looks like the expected result of a protracted internal brawl in Mama Kandeh’s political formation. The party has managed to contain what has now become obvious for the past three months. The expulsion letters were written and signed on the 31st of March 2021, but the affected parliamentarians said they received their letters on the 21st of April 2021.
Expelled GDC deputies waste no time pledging allegiance to Adama Barrow
Speaking to the media shortly after Tuesday’s sitting, Hon. Kebba Jallow told journalists that he is now free to join any political party of his choice, considering that his expulsion from the GDC party did not come to him as a surprise. “We will support President Barrow’s agenda 100 percent to help move the country forward,” Kebba Jollow.
Hon. Jallow said the people of Jarra Central voted him to represent them in parliament to bring meaningful development to the constituency and the country at large.
“I have always been accused of supporting development agendas brought to the national assembly. GDC considers such programs as President Adama Barrow’s development agendas. I am at the National Assembly to represent all the Gambian people rather than one political party,” the GDC expelled member said.
Hon. Jallow accused GDC Party Leader Mamma Kandeh of being a dictator, like Yahya Jammeh. “The fight we fought in 2016 was of this nature, and in 2017 we removed that section from the 1997 constitution to free National Assembly Members from Party affiliation and to be able to debate on issues of national development,” Jallow added.
Hon. Salifu Jawo said that GDC Party Leader Mama Kandeh would see a fire in the coming elections because many people have left his party and continue to do so as elections near.
“I don’t care about Mama Kandeh. I care about the people of Jokadu whom I am representing here in Parliament.”
President Adama Barrow’s takeover bid on parliamentarians at work
This is not the first time a Gambian opposition political party has expelled its members from representing its party at the National Assembly.
In 2019 the biggest opposition political party, the United Democratic Party (UDP), expelled eight MPs from the organization due to “recalcitrant behavior.”
Ousainou Darboe’s party expelled Hon. Alhagie Jawara, Hon. Billay Tunkara, Hon. Saikouba Hon. Jarjue, Hon. Baba Galleh Jallow, Hon. Fatoumata Jawara, Hon. Abdoulie Ceesay, Hon. Saikou Marong and Hon. Omar Darboe.
Since then, those parliamentarians have joined President Adama Barrow’s new political party, the National People’s Party (NPP).
Meanwhile, the GDC had five MPs representing the party at the National Assembly. The party is now left with only three representatives in the parliament.
At this rate, President Barrow’s takeover bid of whatever number of Members of the Parliament is advancing slowly but surely. The early stages were visible when parliamentarians rejected the draft constitution. Several so-called independent deputies took up the cause of the Gambian chief executive.
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