The Citizens First is a political action movement founded in February 2017 following the 2016 Gambian presidential election. With the emergence of New Gambia, Citizens First has a mission of restoring rational and representational government with the Gambian people placed as its only special interest. The organization aims to support INDEPENDENT candidates to contest for office: National Assembly and local government elections to represent our people. It also aims to educate and empower citizens so they get involved to demand that their elected representatives serve their interest.
Bearing in mind that when candidates contest in elections under the banner of a political party, they feel they owe it to the party that supported them sometimes to the detriment of the masses who voted for them. Thus, Citizens First aims to break too much partisan hold on public offices. In working towards its goals, the organization would support suitable women and men who will remember that their loyalties lie with the masses. They will be guided by their conscience and vision for a better Gambia rather than any party or group affiliation or interests. We firmly believe that candidates who get elected under an independent banner are less likely to be swayed by party or group interests.
“For our development agenda to make the best use of the resources at our disposal as a country, we need a political class that is truly representative of all the different subgroups in our population-youth, women, and men from all backgrounds, throughout The Gambia. These vetted and qualified individuals would be dedicated to putting aside loyalties to party, family or personal relationships in favor of following their conscience with honor, integrity and a commitment to progress in the best interest of the Gambian masses.”
Citizens First promotes these values and commitments by sponsoring any independent candidate who demonstrate a willingness to prioritize representing the masses for the development of the country. This sponsorship will be accompanied by civic education as well as activities that promote good governance by the most diverse, inclusive, committed, qualified and conscientious representatives we can identify.
“Ultimately, through civic education, we want to empower the ordinary voter so they can actively participate in the governance of their affairs. We believe that if the masses fully understand their rights, civic duties and their power as voters, they will stand up and hold their representatives accountable.”
We are interested in public-minded independents who can challenge the status quo. The presidential election which witnessed the end of dictatorship in The Gambia shows that Gambians especially young people are hungry for candidates that prioritize voters and the country’s interest, not a party’s interest. We will provide candidates with access to tools and training to run competing campaigns. We will support candidates who are aligned with Citizens First’s principles and approach to governance.
We seek out brave people who can stand up and fight for what is right. Citizens First is building a vehicle for independent candidates to contest elections unaffiliated with any political party. If you are frustrated like us and are committed to making things better, join the movement. Believe that independents can be strong and viable candidates choices for voters. It’s time our politicians put our citizens first!
Learn more about Citizens First: www.citizensfirstgm.org