The United Democratic Party, under the leadership of Ousainou Darboe, has launched its presidential election manifesto, 5-point Agenda and official website after 25 years of its establishment.
In his address, Darboe disclosed how the party was formed.
He said that the first and subsequent meetings of the representatives of the banned PPP, NCP and GPP that led to the establishment UDP was “shrouded in great secrecy” because “it was still dangerous to openly show the soldiers-turned-politicians that there were people who were not prepared to tow their line”.
While clarifying how he became the party leader, Darboe said, “The search for a leader necessitated the drawing up of a list of potential candidates of eight people. This list was debated and shortlisted down to three. The first and second listed candidates quickly declined to accept the proposal and the choice now fell on the third listed who was out of the country at the time. The rest as they say is history.
“Today I stand here before you with mixed feelings: humility and gratitude for the honour and trust the founding fathers and shall I say mothers of UDP bestowed on me, to lead our people to build a prosperous and democratic republic.”
Darboe therefore stressed that his leadership would only embrace and operate on 21st century political system that accommodates a pluralistic political dispensation.
“21st century Gambia needs a new kind of politics that creates the environment for a high energy democracy and a new theory of government that is value adding and economically empowering,” Darboe noted.
“21st Century Gambia needs a new kind of politics that creates the environment for a high energy democracy and a new theory of government that is value adding and economically empowering the people,” he added.
Having commended the committee members, he further disclosed that the UDP Strategy and Policy Committee has made some recommendations that would ensure that government prioritises Human Capital Development, which according to him, would help improve the quality of lives and livelihoods of Gambians.
He then implored all Gambians to visit UDP website—udp.gm— for details about the main focus of his 5-Point Agenda as the party’s flag bearer for the presidential election in December.
While reacting to the party leader’s speech, Almami Fanding Taal, UDPAdministrative Secretary on legal and human rights matters, reiterated, “A UDP Government will use urbanisation as a driver for economic development. Such a strategy will enhance institutional capacity to manage urbanisation in a coordinated manner, integrate urban planning and management to ensure sustainable growth, to improve urban quality of life and provide job opportunities and increase urban productivity. This will be achieved through a series of guiding principles: sustainability and resilience, integrated planning, decentralized urban governance, participatory planning, market-responsiveness, sustainable land use, appropriate urban management and social inclusion.”
Kemo Bojang, the UDP Youth Wing Secretary General, also said, “[I’m] super elated and proud of myself to have played a part in the formulation and expression of this policy document by our great party. A lot of running around and sleepless nights for the past two years but we’ve made it,”
“…it gives me great pleasure to officially launch the UDP Manifesto; the UDP 5-Point Agenda and the UDP website. Henceforth, they are all open to the general public,” Darboe concluded.