By Alhagie Jobe
Campaign for the forthcoming presidential election in The Gambia officially begins today, Wednesday, November 16th, 2016.
The Gambia goes to the polls on December 1st, 2016 in which incumbent President Yahya Jammeh is seeking for a fifth term.
Two other presidential aspirants are facing Mr Jammeh who has ruled the small West African nation for 22 years in which Gambians suffer arbitrary arrests, tortures, detentions, disappearances etc.
A coalition led by Adama Barrow that is comprising six political parties and an Independent Candidate and another lone candidate Mama Kandeh of the Gambia Democratic Congress are challenging Mr Jammeh who is the standard bearer of his ruling APRC party which has been in power since 1994.
Meanwhile, Incumbent and APRC’s candidate Yahya Jammeh has since Monday began his campaign, defying the electoral commission’s set date to start.
During the ten days campaigning, politicians will be criss-crossing the length and breadth of the country to sell their agendas, programs of development etc. Campaigning ends on 29th, November 2016.
It is widely believed that incumbent President Jammeh will lose this year’s elections as Gambians all over are calling for change to end the dictatorship in the country.
Gambia has been described by Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International as a country with one of the worst human rights records African continent. The government continues to infringed on privacy rights, restricted freedom of speech and shown little or no respect for the fundamental human rights of Gambian citizens. Arbitrary arrests and detentions have increased; security forces continue to harass and mistreat detainees, prisoners, opposition members, journalists, and civilians with impunity.