Tuesday, April 26, 2016

IEC Inter - Party Committee undermines the opposition's collective interest

It is being reported there is a follow-up meeting of the Inter-Party Committee Meeting at the Independent Electoral Commission offices, tomorrow, Wednesday, at the same date as the United Democratic Party (UDP) leader is scheduled to appear before a High Court judge for the hearing of the case against Ousainou Darboe and many others.

Last week's between the opposition and APRC with the US and EU as observers resulted in a flurry of criticism of opposition members from the diaspora demanding that the meetings should cease immediately.

The optics provided by these meetings undermine the efforts of those out demonstrating support of and in solidarity with Ousainou Darboe and others facing charges of inciting violence and other frivolous charges in connection of his last week's peaceful protest demonstration.

These IEC meetings are seen as providing cover for a regime that is under pressure and has been heavily criticized by the United States, United Nations, European Union and ECOWAS over the violent crackdown of the peaceful demonstrations organized by opponents of the dictatorship of Jammeh resulting in several deaths and several wounded the first and subsequent protests.  The message coming from supporters of the opposition is : Do not throw Jammeh a lifeline.

Given that an EU Article 18 Political Dialogue is likely to take place soon, any meeting with the IEC will be used by Jammeh to his advantage as a goodwill measure on his part that has the potential of overshadowing all events of the past two weeks which have succeeded in throwing Jammeh off-balance.

We are, therefore, appealing, once more, to the opposition parties to suspend all engagements with the APRC and the IEC.  They (the opposition parties) should instead direct their undivided attention towards supporting Ousainou Darboe and all the victims of the violent crackdown of Jammeh's security forces.  The ground has shifted and so must the strategy going forward.