The MP for Lower Badibu Alhagie Jawara has called on the European Union, the United States and British governments to mind their business and stop meddling into Gambia’s domestic politics. Jawara notes that The Gambia is a sovereign state and that no amount of outside intervention can compel Gambian MPs to succumb to western pressure to approve the draft constitution. He spoke on Monday at the National Assembly, where MPs are debating the draft constitution.
Jawara’s statement followed a joint statement issued by the EU, the US Embassy Banjul, and the British High Commission, calling on the MPs to approve the draft constitution.
“The EU Delegation, the United States Embassy, the British High Commission and the German Embassy urge members of the National Assembly to vote the draft Bill on the revised constitution to progress to the final stages of parliamentary scrutiny. The draft constitution is the result of extensive consultations with Gambians across the country and in the diaspora, with significant investment of resources, intellectual discussion and debate by Gambians from all walks of life,” the joint statement stated.
In order to consolidate the hard won democratic gains in recent years, said the statement, it is vital to the credibility of the current transition to truly democratic, accountable government that the people of The Gambia themselves are given the opportunity to vote in a referendum on the new constitution. Denying them that opportunity, the statement went on, is to deny one of the most demanded objectives from the 2016 election, and risks signalling abandonment by this transition government of one of its most significant commitments to the Gambian electorate.
MP Jawara was elected on a UDP ticket but has since defected to Barrow’s camp. He left the UDP together with seven other MPs.
Jawara notes that the statement that was issued by the EU, the US, and British missions in The Gambia, was not only inappropriate, but a direct meddling into a sovereign state’s state of affairs. “We are an independent state. We will not allow to be recolonized again. We wouldn’t allow the EU, the US and Britain to dictate to us how to run our country,” Jawara remarked.
Jawara added that the western intervention was orchestrated by those in the opposition to instill fear and misinformation in the country. He pointed out that the EU, the US, and Britain cannot direct what obtains at the National Assembly.