10 May 2019

Gambia: The Honourable Thing to Do Mr President

opinion

The Gambian people are diverse in thinking. In 2016 they would have voted in different ways if we had different candidates contesting elections. The absence of a level ground for multi-party contest and the existence of a constitutional provision requiring 50 plus percent to win an election in the first-round compelled parties to form an alliance against the incumbent. That Coalition agreed to select a flagbearer by creating conditions that would unify all party supporters in the Coalition to vote for the Coalition candidate.

The terms that they could agree upon were very clear to all. A three-year reduced mandate, non-participation in the next following election and neutrality in the subsequent electoral contest.

Now that victory is achieved under such a platform a president who assumes executive authority has to decide whether to accept the Coalition mandate as an act of good faith or rely on the constitutional mandate which is the basis of negating the Coalition mandate since the constitution does not make it mandatory for anyone to serve for three years and not participate in future electoral process.

Since the president has made declarations indicating that he will contest the 2021 presidential election, the honourable thing to do is to address the nation and simply indicate that one is reneging one's position to abide by Coalition mandate and give his reasons and leave the people to express their divergent opinions on the issue.

Calling a spade a spade, is what is needed in state administration. This is what is called transparency.

Gambia

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