Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Reinstate second round voting in 2016 or else ..

Gambian Opposition party leaders
There is approximately thirty months before the next scheduled Presidential elections in The Gambia which may seem like eternity.  But just as Harold Wilson reminded us that a week in politics is a long time, the reverse of the adage appears to be equally true when it comes to the Gambian case.

The British electoral system encourages participation, whereas the Gambian system discourages the participation of the opposition with endless obstacles put in the way to the ballot box.  Thus even eternity might not provide the time needed to tackle the hurdles constructed by Yaya Jammeh.

Another historical account of the failures of the opposition to mount an effective strategy against the dictatorship will not help but would, in my judgement, hinder progress.  To render account again will provide the excuse necessary for opposition leaders to bog themselves down or be entangled in the process rather than outcome.

We will, therefore, spare you the agony of all of the intricacies involved in the process which Jammeh will be hoping you will entangle yourselves in, again.  Instead, we will outline a simple, straightforward strategy (if you can call it that) that will constitute the entire opposition strategy for 2016.

We have posted two conditions that the dictatorship must meet or fulfill for the opposition to participate in 2016 :
  • The primary and non-negotiable condition is the reinstatement of the 50 + 1 rule.  
  • Equally non-negotiable is the reconstitution of the IEC with members selected by a non-partisan body.  
  • Membership in the New IEC and the non-partisan body selecting the IEC members will be negotiated and agreed to by all parties.   
  • Also open to negotiation is the time-frame that all of the above should be in place prior to the 2016 elections.
Party Manifestos may be alright but not the most urgent issue facing the opposition unless the above conditions are the Preamble.  Everything else, in our view, will serve only as potential source of distraction and the usual shenanigans that we had witnessed in 2006 and 2011.

2016 should be different with a simple but different approach which must be telegraphed to potential international partners, to include ECOWAS and the European Union among others  Keeping it simple will help in the messaging that everyone will understand, including the international community.