Meeting between ruling party, opposition “cancelled”

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The memorandum of understanding that was to be signed between the ruling party and the opposition at Kairaba Beach hotel has been cancelled, Hamat Bah of the National Reconciliation Party confirmed to The Torch.

The Torch could not reach Halifa Sallah, the spokesperson for the coalition and one of the coordinators of the inter-party committee for comment but his personal assistant Sambou said they have also received information that it was “cancelled”.

“The information is correct… It was cancelled,” Sambou said.

No reasons were advanced for the postponement.

However, one source also informed this site that the MoU has been “postponed indefinitely”.

The ruling Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction and opposition parties were expected to sign the MoU ahead of the country’s presidential polls slated for December 1.

The signing of the MoU which was meant to ensure that all parties play by the rules embedded in the electoral laws was expected to be done at Kairaba Beach hotel at 5pm on yesterday.

This memorandum, The Torch has learned, was supposed to be a replica of a similar agreement signed by opposition and APRC in 2005 also at Kairaba brokered by Commonwealth and Olusegun Obasanjo, former Nigerian president.

In 2005, Obasanjo and Commonwealth brokered talks between Gambia government officials and the opposition which resulted into the establishment of an inter-party committee.

The task of the Committee was to serve as a platform of negotiation in case there is any problem but overtime it became ineffective until it was recently revived.

The Committee was renewed on advice of the UN resident coordinator in the country Ade Mamonyane Lekoetje and other stakeholders.

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