Gambia: The Protests and the Political Parties

Political parties are instruments of political leadership. Their duty is to put programmes before the people and seek their mandate. When they receive such mandate, they must respond to the needs and aspirations of the people. Civil society segments are established to promote freedom of association and assembly aimed at addressing given concerns of the members of society. In a democratic society, political parties cannot participate and must not participate in the overthrow of governments. They must be committed to the removal of governments through the ballot box. Members of political parties must have the discipline to abide by the principles and policies and defend them in word and deed. No one can be a genuine member of a political party if one defies the principles and policies of the party. All political parties must be rule based if they are to be classified as democratic parties.

Hence while individuals and civil society segments were mostly identified with recent protests. Only one party took to the street to protest for the return of the former president.

Many people who were caught up in the Tree Years Jona or Five Years Jot Agul protest claim not to be associated with political parties. This means that such protestors are not confident of the backing of political parties. In that regard, each person who belongs to a political party must never engage in political protests unless one seeks the support of the political party for such a mission.

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