United Democratic Party (UDP) leader Ousainou Darboe expressed hope Thursday that National Assembly Members voted into post-Jammeh Parliament will put the country first in serving the interests of the electorate.

“We indeed elected the candidates under party tickets, but we expect them to represent all of us as a nation irrespective of party affiliation,” said lawyer Darboe in a statement read out by UDP deputy

President Yam Secka during a press briefing held at the party headquarter in Manjai Kunda.

Gambia’s largest political party emerged victorious in the just concluded parliamentary elections with a comfortable majority. A total of 10 political parties took part in the April 6 elections and UDP was able to secure 31 seats out of 53 contested, putting an end to two decades of domination by the Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC) – reduced to 5 seats.

Darboe, who also doubles as Gambia’s Foreign Affairs Minister, made it clear that those elected will ‘represent the interests of all citizens and residents’ in delivering on their mandate.

“We look forward to working closely with coalition partners and others to support President Adama Barrow’s reform and development programs,” UDP leader emphasized.

As hopes are high for the country to go through major changes, he expressed to see Gambia becoming a beacon of democratic enlightenment.

“I predict that great parliamentarians will emerge from this batch of National Assembly Members. I expect them to scrutinize the executive with vigilance and competency, tempered by positivism and a mission for cooperation and united action,” Ousainou Darboe reiterated.

Meanwhile, Madi Jobarteh, one of the country’s rare organic intellectuals, re-echoed similar sentiments in an Op-ed widely circulated on social media.

“If truth be told, this National Assembly is the best parliament the Gambia has ever produced since independence. It is indeed the dream team and for that matter they cannot fail the nation,” Jobarteh said.

Far from giving them carte blanche, Madi Jobarteh warned that newly elected NAMs cannot claim ignorance in any way about what the Gambia needs and where it should go.

Written by Abdoulie JOHN

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