NRP Deputy Leader applauds the ongoing coalition talks, expresses optimism

By Kebba Jeffang

Mr. Musa Sonko, the deputy leader of the National Reconciliation Party (NRP) has expressed his satisfaction with the arrangements of the ongoing coalition building talks among the Gambian opposition to field one presidential candidate in the forthcoming 1 December 2016 presidential poll. He said he is optimistic that there will be a consensus outcome at the end of the day.

“I’m very much impressed with the process and do hope that it will end up well as it has started,” added Mr. Sonko.

The deputy party leader of the NRP said this in a telephone interview with this reporter yesterday, 27 September, a day after the opposition parties held their second meeting of the presidential candidates at the Kairaba Beach Hotel which was rescheduled for Wednesday, 5 October 2016.

Mr. Sonko said his party will be participating fully in the process even in the absence of Hon. Hamat Bah, the Secretary General and party leader of NRP, who is said to be out of the country at the moment.

“NRP is a political party and not an enterprise where nothing could function in the absence of its leader,” said Mr. Sonko. He added “NRP is a democratic institution and everything we do is in line with democratic values and principles. It is a political party and not an enterprise therefore we will take whatever outcome the talks brings as a party so long as it is in the interest of the country and its people.”

Hon. Bah, the NRP Presidential Candidate, was reported to be among the three out of six presidential candidates who were not present at the Monday, 26 September, coalition building meeting of opposition parties and independent candidate.

When asked whether NRP has laid down any preconditions that may pose as a stumbling block that could lead to the failure of the coalition talks for a unified candidate, Mr. Sonko said they are not putting any condition. “All that we want is to see that one candidate is being supported by all to lead the presidential election to dispose the current president of the republic Yahya Jammeh who spent 22 years in power,” he said.

The deputy leader of the NRP said all the presidential candidates would be meeting next week to continue the talks.