We will reform prisons, release political prisoners— Barrow promises Gambians

The leader of the Gambia’s opposition coalition, Adama Barrow, said they will return the country to the Commonwealth and the International Criminal Court if they win

 

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Coalition supporters cheering leader Adama Barrow as their campaign convoy enters urban Gambia

Adama Barrow, the leader of Gambia’s seven-party opposition coalition that is facing incumbent President Yahya Jammeh, has said their government will reform country’s prisons and release all political prisoners if they win on December 1.

“We will reduce the powers of the president to make it impossible for there to be dictatorship in future Gambia…,” Barrow told The Torch in an interview in Brufut.

“We will reform the prison of this country and we will release all political prisoners immediately”

Barrow and his entourage entered in urban Gambia on Friday with a “historic rolling crowd”, that many people say has never been seen after a politician in the history of this country.

Omar Jallow, a former minister under Gambia’s first president Dawda Jawara, told The Torch that the “attitude, enthusiasm, lack of fear in the people to speak their minds and the commitment has demonstrated that Gambians are tired of APRC government”.

“People were energized because they want parties to come together… Everybody believes that a single party cannot change the regime and that is why the coming together has galvanized the people. I am 100% certain that change will come by December 1,” Barrow argued.

Meanwhile, Barrow also promised that their government will review media laws and reduce the powers of the presidency, adding that they will also return the country to Commonwealth and International Criminal Court.

“We will ensure that we respect all international agreements we are a signatory to and we will take the country back to the Commonwealth and the International Criminal Court,” Barrow said

“The ICC and Commonwealth and other international institutions are advocating for good governance—if you are doing that why should you fear.”

In 2013, Gambia left the Commonwealth, a 54-nation organization made up largely of former British colonies, saying it will “never be a member of any neo-colonial institution”.

In October this year it also became the third country after South Africa and Burundi to quit the International Criminal Court denouncing the war crimes court as an “International Caucasian Court for the prosecution and humiliation of the people of colour, especially Africans”.

Barrow praised his colleagues as “seasoned politicians whose only objective to salvage The Gambia”, and added that he is always willing to “learn from their years of experience”.

Gambians are heading to polls on December 1 and political campaigns in the country are ending on November 29.

 

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