Sunday, June 23, 2024

Editorial: Of 2016 General Elections and Dictator Jammeh’s Determined Efforts To Steal Them In The Face Of Blatant Refusal By A Docile Opposition To Unite

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It is already almost certain that Dictator Yahya Jammeh will win with landslide the upcoming General Elections in The Gambia not through the popular choice but through grand schemes blatantly pioneered by the National Assembly where the dictator controls with absolute majority and what appears like a lack of fighting bones among the opposition to defiantly oppose and combat the open fraud in the electoral system.

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For the past three years in particular, the dictatorship in The Gambia has embarked on an unstoppable ride changing the rules and electoral laws to open up holes in the electoral system that could make it easy to win the worst of seemingly contested elections. The list is too long for us to even bother with but two key constitutional amendments should have served as a rude awakening for the opposition that the dictatorship means business to stay in power at all cost.



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Some six months ago, the regime rushed a provocative bill to the National Assembly titled “The Electoral Amendment Bill 2015” which places a whole lot of undemocratic conditions on political parties to fulfill. Some of the conditions include hugely unacceptable sums of money to contest various elective positions.


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And now the dictatorship has rushed another bill to parliament basically to window dress while at the same turn around and extend the tenure of the office of the current chairman of the electoral commission who has been holding the position illegally since the expiry of his term almost a year ago.




What is strange about all these is the conspicuous silence and inaction by the opposition parties in The Gambia. As if they are hit by an ice-bug, the opposition is still conveniently keeping quiet over urgent national matters such as insisting on, and settling for nothing other than free, fair and credible electoral processes which are the life blood of our democracy.


By continuing to remain silent as if they are placed in the same room with toads, the opposition are by all indications showing their complicity in prolonging the suffering of the Gambian people. Dictators understand only one language….and that is the language of defiance even if it is through the democratic route.




By giving a breeding space to the dictatorship, Yahya Jammeh has now become a delicate egg in our collective hands. Gambian opposition parties should muster the courage and drop this egg. Nothing will happen…only that it is the dictator’s skull that will hit the hard solid ground. And when that happens, Gambians will only move on.


Enough of this slumber and enough of the bickering. What Gambians need is an opposition that is proactive, that is responsive and that is ready to say enough is enough. There cannot be any dilly dallying over that.

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