The absolute majority isn’t going to be tractable if it’s implemented in The Gambia. The reason being is, we’ve to scrutinise, rationalise and understand the political culture and participation of The Gambian people. When it comes to voting in The Gambia, people have limited interest because of limited awareness about politics; thus leading to the practice of political apathy. This may happen when there is no absolute majority win in the first round of voting; the aftermath of such scenario leads the two frontliners to go for a second round of voting. The supporters of the losing candidates may refuse to vote in the second round because there preferred candidate is not contesting.
When such instances surfaced the likelihood of a coalition government is rendered inevitable. Is a coalition government good for The Gambia. No! Compare to a government compose by a political party. We all know that a coalition government is always fragile and weak, because, no party takes ownership and when bad things occurred you wouldn’t even know where to apportion the blame because, everybody is there to protect and defend his or her party.
But if a government is compose by a political party, that party would make sure that they protect the political future of the republic by ensuring that all institutions in the country are anchored on the basis of transparency and accountability. Therefore, they would always ensure that they do the right thing just to win the hearts of their people and also to be very mindful and careful of what they would be engaging on, and how they’re going to do it so that they don’t jeopardise the political future of the party.
A coalition government can be very dangerous and a threat to the nation’s sovereign wealth especially when the right people aren’t put in places. However, this may catapult a kleptocratic government of looters and tax evaders. And government composed of only thieves makes snail pace development a reality.
I think before advocating for absolute majority, we should first try to sensitise, educate, help and convince the people to participate and take party in politics both conventionally and unconventionally. If that’s successful then we can go for the absolute majority.
Seven (7) political parties came together to formed a coalition in 2016, but, they couldn’t even attained or pull out 50% due to the fact that the voter turn out was very low. If we really want to have the absolutely majority, then we’ve to change our political behaviour. And in essence, I’m of the perspective that we ought to first look into the party system of The Gambia in other to put a stop to the emergence of dubious political parties with clueless manifestos. Such parties are merely structured on political expediency.
In conclusion, We all witnessed the precious elections and it was only the presidential election which was better but the turn out for National Assembly and councillors elections were very poor.
Let’s not always try to imitate the democracy of other countries even when such democracies does not suit our political reality.
May Allah the almighty continue to protect, guide and bless our motherland. Amen!
For The Gambia, our homeland.
Abubacarr Fulus Drammeh,
Student of the University of The Gambia.