Monday, October 10, 2016

Jammeh still holds the disqualification card

IEC Chairman, Alieu Momar Njie
As the opposition parties immerse themselves in negotiations to forge an alliance of the willing in time for the scheduled December presidential elections, Jammeh is also busy planning on how to swing the advantage in his favor after his party's apparent loss of support primarily to the new formed Gambia Democratic Congress of Mamma Kandeh.

The swing of the pendulum in the opposite direction is noticeable enough to warrant the summoning of the APRC Yayi Compins, some of whom were accused of being part of a larger conspiracy to weaken the ruling party by delivering supporters to GDC, according to a source.  When some felt verbally threaten. they decided to leave the country.  This is how seriously Jammeh has taken the erosion of his support base.

If Jammeh can threaten women who have supported him throughout his 22-year dictatorship with jail time, he will not spare opposition leaders and their supporters.  Every attempt will be made to stymie any of the opposition's effort to construct a viable united front with a singular leader  to head the ticket in the scheduled December presidential elections.

Jammeh is not going to go down without a fight.  He's also fully aware that a united opposition is the surest way of defeating him at the polls, and with his dwindling support across the country, an opposition victory is more likely than not.  He will therefore try to prevent the opposition from coming together by sowing the seeds of discord - an effort that is a already under way.

If he succeeds in preventing the opposition parties from coalescing around a flag bearer, individual parties will be highly vulnerable to the dictates of Jammeh, especially those tempted to complete individually at the presidential elections.

At the instruction of Jammeh, the IEC Chairman can declare individual party leaders ineligible for nomination based on the flimsiest of reasons without repercussion, unlike declaring a single presidential candidate of the opposition ineligible which would be unimaginable to declare ineligible. If he does, he'll have to go to the polls unopposed - a highly unlikely outcome, one more incentive for the opposition to coalesce around a single leader. Besides, no single party can defeat Jammeh and no single party - big or small, new or old - is immune from being disqualified under these circumstances.