The Case for a United Coalition of the Opposition for 2016 General Elections…
By: People’s Progressive Party ( PPP) – Gambia – Media
The PPP believes that the democratic process, and a free and fair elections is the only way for a peaceful democratic change of government. The PPP is a victim of a violent and unconstitutional usurpation of power by the current AFPRC regime of Yaya Jammeh, in 1994. The AFPRC regime, over the last twenty years has systematically dismantled the democratic process to entrench its illegal seizure of power in 1994. You tell a lie long enough, people start to believe it, but truth pressed to earth shall rise one day like the mighty phoenix out of the ashes. The AFPRC junta took power through violent illegitimate means in 1994, used a twisted and manipulated democratic process, fear, intimidation, uncontrolled violence to legitimize itself, but it still remains illegitimate and illegal in the eyes of the Gambian people. Fear does not equate acceptance or acquiescence. Longevity shall never equate legitimacy, period.
The PPP hereby reiterate its commitment and unconditional support for a united coalition of the opposition parties in The Gambia for 2016 General elections. We are calling on all parties who believe in rescuing our beloved country from twenty years of Dictator Yaya Jammeh’s tyranny and misrule. We are also calling on all Gambians, at home and abroad, to join with us in demanding for comprehensive electoral reforms before the 2016 electoral season. Yaya Jammeh’s record of lies, and broken promises speaks for itself, leaving a trail of death and destruction in its wake. My friends, today Gambians are in a stage of siege in their own country, in an open air prison, in the Gulag of the Tropics …. and it’s time to restore good governance and the rule of law. Too many good people have become comfortable and thriving under an unjust system, and they have become the foot soldiers of lies and propaganda to hold the people down.
It’s all about numbers and counting …
A coalition, by definition, is a temporary arrangement to achieve a stated goal. It simply allows involved parties to harness their limited resources and strategies to challenge an incumbent with unlimited state resources. All parties can benefit from the outcome and be contented of achieving their ultimate goal of ending Yaya Jammeh’s murderous and kleptocratic tyranny. The parties can maintain their ideological leaning and go their separate ways, come next elections. My friends, elections are a game of numbers, and in the current electoral set up in Gambia, the numbers just don’t and will not add up for a divided and fragmented opposition to win a general election. For too long, people have underestimated Yaya Jammeh’s determination to make himself president for life. He took steps early on to dismantle the democratic process to ensure that he can win elections with a simple majority, for perpetuity. Yaya Jammeh is not democratic, never has been, never will be, he simply figured out a way to deceitfully and cynically twist the rules in his favor, with the complicity of too many good people.
He does Not need to have 50% plus 1, to claim victory. With a simple majority, he can claim victory even if he only gathers some 35% of the votes cast, as long as individually, none of the other candidates win more than he does. This simply means, collectively, a fragmented and divided opposition may win some 65% of the votes and still lose. Yaya Jammeh is very much aware of that, in a free and fair election, he will lose hands down. The people may be terrified of him, for good reason (because of all the unsolved murders and assassinations, and disappearances), but they don’t love him. He just cannot buy enough love with his misguided benevolence. There has been precedence in recent elections, when people had the chance, they voted against his chosen candidates, in Banjul mayoral elections and elsewhere. With the odds stacked so high against the opposition, no single opposition party has the resources and logistics to challenge Jammeh across the country. No single party alone can win an outright first round in the general elections against the incumbent, period. So a fragmented opposition will guaranteed defeat.
President Macky Sall of Senegal would never have been president without a second round, without getting the math right through a unified coalition. With that said, without a unified coalition, the opposition will just be like sheep being herded to the slaughterhouse, or walked over the edge of the cliff. History will not be kind to the opposition parties, if we miss this opportunity to take on the Dictator, across the country and expose his naked failures misrule, human rights abuses, a failed economy, chronic youth unemployment, with half of the country’s brain power in exile. Jammeh is at his lowest point, with the international community finally ready to impose targeted and biting economic sanctions, illegal asset freezes, and travel bans on his inner circle, and on his globetrotting and imported wife. Zainab Jammeh, the Marie Antoinette of our time, is busy siphoning money, laundering our money, hoarding our money like squirrel hoarding seeds, running against time, as winter approaches, across the Middle East, Guinea and to the West. Those records and travel itinerary will be revisited someday, ..but I digress …
What a Coalition can do, …what it would mean…
A united coalition will speak with one loud voice, to demand electoral reforms, to level the field, and give access to state resources, radio and television. A united coalition will also be able to raise funds from people who would otherwise be skeptical of donating to a divided opposition, destined to lose. The December 2013 joint campaign by UDP and the PPP has shown that people are yearning for leadership and direction from the opposition. The silent majority in Gambia is like a low hanging fruit sitting there for the picking.
Yaya Jammeh’s biggest nightmare is a united coalition, because he will have to start taking us seriously, and forced to answer real questions. His fear of a strong and credible united coalition is why he has falsely charged and imprison Amadou Sanneh to eliminate his candidacy. A united coalition will knock him off his arrogant, entitled and mystical perch, as if the Gambian people owe him something. This man has lied so much over the years that the opposition can land punches even if they close their eyes. Jammeh promised Gambians everything under the sky and has delivered zero. This is the man who declared that 10 years is too long for any one to stay in power, but once he tasted its trappings and personal benefits, he has since became intoxicated and greedy. He promised to build railway by 2013, that he discovered oil, in the continental shelf, all by himself, that he will turn Gambia into the Dubai of the tropics, and he can cure all sorts of disease, including AIDS, but conveniently chooses to ship his family overseas when they have a headache. Despite all that buffoonery, Jammeh has failed in all the indicators, economically, politically and socially to lift Gambians standard of living. Today, Yaya Jammeh’s hands are dripping with the blood of Gambians, and his lips are spewing words of blind rage, vindictiveness, treachery, arrogance, condescension, venom and vitriol The political parties do not have the luxury of time, and therefore cannot play by Jammeh’s game. Jammeh is always campaigning, why should the opposition be quiet and not using all available media to communicate their policy differences and objectives? We need to start the delicate negotiations the day before tomorrow, now. The PPP has the experience for hard negotiations, when we were instrumental in negotiating our very existence today. We are once again facing an existential situation and we are ready once again to join concerned citizens to save Gambia. As we approach the 50th anniversary of our independence, on February 18, 2015, the silence from the AFPRC regime on this great occasion is deafening. The Jammeh regime can no longer hide its hatred for everything Gambian, such as February 18, 1965! He is doing his best to minimize that monumental achievement that President Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara is poised to witness.
What can you do….
You can start by joining the PPP to provide the people for the work on the ground, or to donate and volunteer. If you are a member of another political party, we urge you to call on your leadership and urge them to join with us to create a coalition now, because we have a small window of opportunity in order to be effective. We need you to start talking to your friends and family at home and in the diaspora to be the change they have been looking for, for twenty years. If you live in the Diaspora, and regularly send money to family and friends, you have an important role to change hearts and minds, because you are aware what free thinking people can achieve. Fearful people cannot innovate or think beyond achieving a temporary security. Oppressed and fearful people are too busy trying to survive, they are unable to think outside the box. Consequently, you the Diasporan has to be honest to yourself, that in order to ease the dependency on you, your family and friends must start to provide a little more for themselves. You want your Euros, Pounds or Dollars to be able to do a whole lot more than what is happening today in The Gambia. So, you are not immune to the bad economic policies of the AFPRC junta, because it affects your pockets, your ability to save for the future. At the current trajectory of inflation, you and your family will be unable to accumulate wealth for the future. Inflation is eating into your savings and investments like termites do to wood, all because of the misguided policies of Yaya Jammeh. At this point, we all have to admit that the twenty year experiment with Dictatorship has brought nothing but misery. Gambians quality of life has progressively declined, and it is not going to get any better under the current clueless and violent regime in Banjul. With all that said, you the Diasporan have a huge responsibility to convince family and friends to look to the future and vote for a new future today, in 2016, and end this criminal junta called the AFPRC
A better future for Gambia lies in your hands and no other person can do it for you. Let’s work together to usher in a change of government, a government that will be representative of our religious, regional and ethnic diversity based on merit and patriotism. Let’s join together to elect a government that respects and honors our Gambian values, that rewards hard and honest work. The only hope for the political prisoners languishing and wilting away at Mile 2 prisons, is a new government, a coalition government, a government that will free all political prisoners immediately, investigate all the political assassinations, disappearances, the April 2000 student murders. We need your participation in restoring a government that will restore autonomy back to the local and traditional governance, where people once again, elect their own leaders. The current local and traditional leadership is an extension of Yaya Jammeh tyranny, thuggery and thievery. This is a struggle that you cannot outsource to anybody, we expect you to say “present”. Salvation is a group experience, it cannot be achieved in isolation. Remember, we either unite or perish together in 2016.
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Brilliant Gambian political rhetoric, laced with humour typical of the author.
But within these words, lays the reasons why the opposition will never succeed in a thousand years.
Jammeh is just too strong.
There is a Chinese proverb which says…….
” you should always leave some thing in your opponents rice bowl”
I don’t think Mr Jammeh is even that generous.
Too much talk. Too much analyzing. Too much predictions. Too much power struggle.
Going by all the above, the ONLY option left for Gambians to get rid of Jammeh are two-fold: 1- The opposition parties to BOYCOTT the upcoming elections for reasons best known to all of us. 2-The strong youths in and out of Gambia to strike again, again and again until Jammeh is REMOVED from office just as he got into office in 1994.
There are several ways of using FORCE needless to enumerate them here. Even a loner can do the job and liberate the Gambia by taking Jammeh out of the equation and let the constitution takes its course.
Some good initiative proposal, amongst options from “old” PPP, good effort, err sarcasm aside…, Gambian adage- “an elderly sat down sees far beyond a youth standing….” Please PPP can contact & extend this noble initiative to all political parties, to form a temporary coalition to salvage the Gambia bloodlessly… We surely can prioritise our options in sanctified human life, as in our human nature as Gambians who always value human life first, to bloodlessly reclaim the motherland… Surely there are all other options on table, for the suitable approach to implement to eradicate tyrannical oppression in Gambia for the successful completion of the struggle… Let’s pledge our support for this noble initiative in any shape & form, physically, morally & financially… God help Gambia; Ameen.
The PPP had 30 years to establish term limits and a solid bedrock of democratic government…capable of meeting the true democratic aspirations of the people…with hope and a future.
What this self perpetuating government produced was Lt Jammeh.
He was welcomed by the people, but became only a mirror image of the failed legacy of the 30 year PPP government.
The Opposition leaders have been in situ for nearly as long as President Jammeh.
Yet the pan has the audacity of calling the kettle black.
The Gambia must suffer the consequences of failed political leadership.
” You marry in haste only to repent at leisure”
Divorce is always painful.
The Opposition must regenerate and bring forward fresh young minds capable of meeting the requirements and challenges of the 21st century. with vigour and energy.
The entire political process in Gambia is weak and tired….It has failed and will continue to fail.