During what was described as a family meeting, President Barrow on Monday, March 6 prevailed on members of the coalition to take the Tactical alliance instead of the Coalition independent route after thoroughly explaining why he believes it is the best option for the upcoming Parliamentary elections. Among his reasons, he is said to have cited the requirement for all party leaders to resign from their individual parties in other to run as Coalition candidates – a process he explained demands time and logistics they don’t currently have.
Sources say President Barrow did a great job in bringing the sparring party leaders together to iron out their contentious differences after what observers describe as two days of the nastiest exchanges of unpleasantries between supporters of UDP, NRP, and GMC on one hand and PPP, PDOIS, GPDP, NCP and Isatou Touray on the other – all due to differences over whether to field in Independent coalition candidates or build Tactical alliances in constituencies based on party strength for the Parliamentary elections slated to take place this coming April. During the talks chaired by Barrow himself, the once shy but finally assertive President reminded them one more time as to why they decided to come together in the first place – the unity of purpose that supersedes all other interests. The President finally asked them to take a vote On the matter for the sake of democracy; to which an executive member objected saying its fine and that there is no need to vote, but Barrow was said to have insisted that they vote to make sure that the process is fair.
Six voted for Tactical alliance, one abstained and one other voted for Independent candidate. The source said President Barrow was very articulate – reason why majority of them reversed their decision and opted for Tactical alliance.
At the end of the meeting, Coalition members were said to have apologized to each other for wrongs committed against each other during the fracas. In a very light moment, President Barrow was said to have jokingly told Halifa Sallah that if he thinks he is fired as The Coalition Spokesperson, he is reinstated. This was in reference to the statement issued by the GMC leader during the tit-for-tat acrimonious confrontation that Halifa Sallah has been fired as Coalition spokesperson.
According to the same sources, when one of the leaders complained about The Online Media’s portrayal of him and his position on the matter, President Barrow was quoted as saying that “we are in a democracy and the online media has contributed a lot in getting us to where we are today.” In other words, the media must be allowed to do its job no matter what.
Challenges still remain – the leaders will be meeting possibly this Tuesday, March 7, to hash out the Tactical alliance details. It is during this meeting that their candidate names will be presented by the individual parties.