Eight Gambian MPs expelled from UDP

APA-Banjul (The Gambia)

One of The Gambia's biggest political grouping, the United Democratic Party, Friday confirmed that eight of its MPs have been expelled from the organisation due to recalcitrant behaviour.

Speaking the local media, the UDP's spokesperson Almamy Taal said those expelled include Alhagie Jawara,  Billay Tunkara, Saikouba Jarjue, Baba Galleh Jallow, and Fatoumatta Jawara.

The others are Abdoulie Ceesay, Saikou Marong and Omar Darboe. 

As elected members, their roles in the National Assembly are not threatened following their expulsion from the UDP which still commands the majority in parliament.

 According to Mr Taal, the UDP's drastic action came as a result of the alleged indifference or sometimes recalcitrant attitudes of the MPs which were inimical to the interest of the party.

However, political pundits say the mass expulsion was triggered by some of the MPs showing open support for President Adama Barrow whose relations with the UDP deteriorated since its leader was sacked as the country's vice-president in June.

"Politically speaking, the MPs in question will now almost certainly jump into the arms of Mr Barrow, if they had not done so already" said one local pundit.

Barrow was a member of the UDP going into a coalition arrangement with other parties to unseat former President Yahya Jammeh almost three years ago.

However he had resigned from the party after winning the coalition's ticket to contest the presidency against Jammeh as an independent candidate but in the weeks and months following his shock victory, the 54 year-old had left Gambians in no doubt where his loyalty rested.

The UDP expulsions comes a week after Darboe issued a statement on behalf of the party demanding that President Barrow respect his word about standing down after three years as he had promised during the election campaign of 2016.

Last month what was left of the coalition had announced that Barrow would go for a full five year term as constitutionally mandated.

In recent months, sharp divisions had emerged between Gambians who hold that President Barrow should be allowed to complete a full five-year term and those under the Three Years Jotna Movement bent on shooting down his bid to go beyond three years.


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