10 January 2018

Gambia: A Political Transition or the Start of a Multi Party Contest?

What is a political transition and what is normal political contest? These questions are being asked by the Gambian people from Kartong to Koina.

It is not uncommon for people to ask which member parties of the Coalition are in the Coalition and which are out of the Coalition. Which party is in opposition and which is the ruling party? Interestingly enough, parties in or out of the Coalition are engaged in party political activity.

In fact nationwide tours on partisan basis are becoming the order of the day. As the council elections draw near, parties aiming to participate are making their voices heard. Some aim to participate on their party ticket. Others are talking about participation through alliances. It is therefore necessary for the electorate to understand what they are being offered.

Coalition 2016 was initiated so that Gambia could change through the ballot box. It succeeded in putting into office an independent presidential candidate. Hence there is no ruling party in The Gambia.

The Independent President is not to be controlled or directed by any political party or individual and does not have to appoint any member of a political party to be a minister.

However Coalition 2016 had the option to continue to be a transitional alliance by having independent National Assembly members and councilors. This however is not the case. Political parties participated in the National Assembly elections and are also poised to participate in the Council elections. In this respect it is very difficult to define the type of political transition The Gambia is undergoing and which party is in a Coalition and which one is not. Hence what is important is for the electorate to start to ask which party is interested in the welfare of the people and which party is giving good ideas for the independent presidency to remain independent and serve the interest of the people. This is what matters. Political parties are just tools. The real task is to promote the welfare of the people.


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