The United Democratic Party is not surprised about the widely reported agreement between the National People’s Party and the former ruling party, APRC (Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction). The UDP strongly supports the principles of freedom of association, including the rights of political parties to forge alliances as they see fit, however, we believe that the NPP-APRC Alliance is borne out of expediency at the expense of the Gambian people’s aspirations for justice and reconciliation.

This Alliance demonstrates that President Barrow has no moral qualms, no understanding or appreciation of the raison d’etre of the democratic forces coming together to end the dictatorship of former President Jammeh.  He lacks empathy for the many victims of Yahya Jammeh’s repressive rule and the sacrifices made to usher in a transition to democratic dispensation.

Just like the Constitutional review process and the Janneh Commission, President Barrow has proved that he has no respect for either constitutional or legal processes established by the Gambian people for justice, peace and reconciliation to prevail in this country.

If the utterances of a key stakeholder in the Alliance is anything to go by, then in blatant abuse of his powers as president of this country, the President has put himself above the will of the Gambian people by undermining the TRRC and again showing that he has neither interest nor respect for the outcome of the TRRC.

We caution the APRC supporters and sympathizers that this is just a gimmick by President Barrow and his cohorts to seduce them to vote for him. He has no power or intention to deliver on his promises. He is not a partner to be trusted. Any person or institution that takes President Barrow’s promise or pledge does so at his/her peril.

Ordinary citizens and victims alike have been understandably flabbergasted by the decision of President Barrow to forge an alliance before the legitimate process of the TRRC has been completed.

President Barrow’s lack of political will to implement recommendations proffered by the Janneh Commission, the Faraba Commission, and the Constitutional Review Commission as well as the concerted efforts to derail the adoption of a new, progressive constitution and to undermine the TRRC process clearly shows that he is not fit for office.

The United Democratic Party has, since it’s inception in 1996, upheld the principle of democracy, justice, and inclusivity in all its activities and outlook. It has consistently made a distinction between supporters of the APRC and the regime that perpetrated
unspeakable human rights violations and economic crimes in The Gambia. This distinction should catalyze National Reconciliation and Unification.

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Mr. Sainey M.K. Marenah is a Prominent Gambian journalist, founding editor The Alkamba Times and formerly head of communications at the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) and Communications and PR Consultant for The Gambia Pilot Program, under Gamworks. Mr. Marenah served as the Social media Strategist and Editor at Gambia Radio and Television Services. He is also the Banjul Correspondent for Voice of America Radio. Sainey is a human rights and developmental journalist who has carved a strong niche particularly in new media environments in the Gambian media industry. Mr. Marenah began his career as a junior reporter with the Point Newspaper in the Gambia in 2008 and rose through the ranks to become Chief correspondent before moving to The Standard Newspaper also in Banjul as Editorial Assistant and head of News. He is a household name in the Gambia’s media industry having covered some of the most important stories in the former and current government. These include the high profile treason cases including the Trial of Former military chiefs in Banjul in 2009 to 2012. Following his arrest and imprisonment by the former regime of President, Yahya Jammeh in 2014, Marenah moved to Dakar Senegal where he continues to practice Journalism freelancing for various local and international Media organization’s including the BBC, Al-Jazeera, VOA, and ZDF TV in Germany among others. He is the co-Founder of the Banjul Based Media Center for Research and Development; an institution specialized in research and development undertakings. As a journalist and Communication Expert, focused on supporting the Gambia's transitional process, Mr Marenah continues to play a pivotal role in shaping a viable media and communications platform that engages necessary tools and action to increase civic participation and awareness of the needs of transitional governance to strengthen the current move towards democratization. Mr. Marenah has traveled extensively as a professional journalist in both Europe, Africa and United States and attended several local and international media trainings.

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