Nailing Coffin On Gambian Democracy

JammehThe decision to amend Elections Act 2001 is nothing short of nailing the coffin on Gambian democracy. The proposed Amendment Bill 2015 is guaranteed of being passed by our rubber-stamping Parliament as soon as the Justice Minister Mama Fatima Singhateh tables it before the lawmakers on June 23rd.

The bill, purportedly sponsored by the Independent Electoral Commission, substantially hikes security deposits of would-be candidates. As such a presidential candidate needs one million instead of D10, 000 while that of national assembly is increased from D5, 000 to D100, 000. Mayoral and councilorship candidates need D25, 000 and D5, 000, respectively, before they have their names on the ballot.

Another disturbing part of the bill is that it requires all executive members of all political parties to be resident in the country, have offices in all the region of the country, hold congress bi-annually and submit their annual financial report to the IEC for scrutiny.

It is also sickening to learn that the proposed legislation require all political parties to put one million dollar Dalasi bond as well as provide 10, 000 registered signatures instead of five hundred before they take part in any election. Gambians don’t want electoral reform but not the type that leaves only President Jammeh in the ring.

We concur with Hamat Bah that the bill in the offing is meant to disenfranchise Gambians and move the country closer to one party state. What is left of any democracy in which citizens are denied their constitutional right to vote? Why would President Jammeh go to this length if he truly believes that he can win the 2016 election without hassle? Mr. Jammeh has fully demonstrated his cowardice, weakness and fear to take part in a free, fair and transparent election. Is this part of Jammeh’s dekabi mako mom doctrine [I own this country] and will do whatever to stay in power? And in so doing, make the rules of election so tough for my opponents to participate.

Some called the desperate move “the last kick of a dying horse.” Whatever the case, Gambians have a serious problem to deal with. The question that most people keep asking is: “what have we done to deserve such a tyrant and crude leader?”

We have the choice to resist the height of President Jammeh’s madness, which will preserve the future of this once Darling of Democracy, the Rule of Law and Human Rights. Our failure to do nothing means we choose to live in pieces instead of in peace. Where is peace in a country where no freedom or right exists? Democracy is surely buried in such a country long since.



  1. IEC is doing dirty game for Jammeh with the help of National Assembly. As long as the puppet is the chairman of IEC , the oppositions has no Chance of change of government through democratic means( election). Therefore , the only feasible ways to get rid of dictator Jammeh are through popular uprising , military intervention or special intervention of our beautiful light skinned women or foreign imported beautiful women. The latter works well for Nigeria with Dictator sanni abacha . Jammeh will do anything under the planet earth to stay in power .

  2. The point is reporting that Jammeh has retaken the “Babili Mansa” title he rejected not long ago….What a joke…! What an absolute joke…!

    • Indeed the same reported is by his very own D.O. Sometimes one is tempted to believe that this abomination has been sent as a curse to Gambia. Really, what have the good people of the Gambia done to deserve this lunacy.

  3. I have learned of this madness in the offing whilst on my last visit in Gambia….

    Evil yaya Devil jammeh using it’s aid-abet stooges in electoral commission to disband or deregister some weak opposition parties…

    I hope this calculated evil move can backfire, impact positively & make the oppressed disadvantaged opposition to temporarily unify; pull resources & efforts together, take on the Murderous kanilai Killer Devil in forthcoming elections in much needed unified form…

    These are signs of remaining days of dying murderous tyrannical syndicate; surely not much long to go now….

    All it takes is collective endeavour of all genuine Gambians, friends & well-wishers, to finish off the Murderous kanilai Killer Devil & few Devilish cohorts….

    God helps & bless the collective endeavour to salvage Gambia; Ameen.

  4. Flex Dan

    So does that mean that the illusive IEC Chairman has approved these laws? I can’t understand how they can pass laws which will actually the NAMs them selves. Gambia is going way out into very dangerous waters. Point of no return.

  5. Bax, it is funny business in Banjul . Jammeh is erractic and lack self esteem. Don’t be surprise to see him claim his old discarded tittle “nasirul deen ” back lol, and declare himself a prophet . In serious sense , Jammeh even claimed ownership of the country about two years ago . We should expect anything from him . I predict he might even ban opposition’s parties in The Gambia and nothing will come out of it .

  6. Lafia Touray la Manju

    This means it will cost every political party almost D6Million just to fill in candidates for the presidential and parliamentary elections. Only one phrase came to mind; “One party state”.


  7. It is early days yet but sometimes good things do come out of idiotic acts.

    In a bizarre sort of way, these power craving lunatics do sometimes “shoot themselves in the foot. ”

    This was how Campaore triggered the chain of events that ended his grip on power…

    Even maitre Wade’s downfall in Senegal, started with his attempts to tinker with the constitution…

    Though Gambians have not shown any serious willingness/indication to resist Jammeh’s attempts to entrench himself in the past, nevertheless, in a volatile political situation like ours , one never knows what is going to trigger events.

    Let’s watch and see what will come out of this idiotic attempt to stifle participatory in the country.

  8. Janjanbureh

    Gambians have to unify and remove Dictator Yaya Jammeh at any cost. He is closing all doors for his peaceful removal and the only options available are forceful ways to get rid of him for good.

  9. Janjanbureh , you are very right . Jammeh is closing the door for the last opportunity to peacefully transfer power . If he refuse to step down before next election or steal the election , he will be killed or violently remove through extra constitutional means . I personally refer him to be captured so that he can face competent courts which he denied his victims .

  10. Gambians like to say nothing will come out of it. This phrase is only helping Jammeh and no one. It is putting our people to sleep. No single person has ever succeeded in defeating a people,it has never happened and it will never happened. Whatever Jammeh did negatively will always add up to give strength and reason for people to galvanize to remove him. He has been exploiting the gullibility of the Gambian people but that also has an end. Sooner or later, it will catch up with him. The man is his own enemy.

  11. This new development gives the opposition political parties another chance to lay a condition to IEC and the government that if this bill is passed, they will mobilize their supporters to carry out a country wide demonstration. That is the language Jammeh fears and understands.
    Jammeh has a container full of new D20/D200 notes printed for him as is the case before every election. That’s why he is dissing out large quantities of money to every Tom, Dick and Harry. That is also why he fixed the foreign exchange to minimize the dalasi depreciation. He was warned that if he starts pushing his printed new dalasi notes into the system, the dalasi will depreciate greatly against all major currencies. With all the several hundred millions of new dalasi notes at his disposal, he decided to come up with the new IEC bill. Please verify the above information with your reliable sources from Central Bank or the Finance Ministry.

    • Abdou, your thoughts on the new Bank notes is food for thought. My information is that the new notes are not seen much in circulation, rather its still the old notes that prevail.

  12. Lafia Touray la Manju

    Contrary to what some stupid commentators are saying on the online radios, this won’t force a coalition on the opposition. A coalition will still be advocated by the parties on the basis of principles underpinning coalition politics in the world that we live in and should there be any agreement, it would be based on those principles and the national interest.

    This bill, if passed into law, will be a contravention to section 26 of the Constitution and therefore illegal. The opposition should therefore join together and see how best they can challenge it politically, diplomatically and legally and also sharing the cost of any such venture.

    An Opposition Coalition for 2016 presidential election is a separate issue.


  13. Lafia , you have mentioned three options to fight this bill if pass by National Assembly , they are politically , diplomatically and legally . I think two of these options ( legally and diplomatically ) are not winnable considering the nature of Jammeh’s regime and Jammeh himself being a complete dictator who has no regards for our constitution or diplomacy. There is a chance to win if there is political lead massive demonstration which involve participation of all political parties on the ground . This will force Jammeh to change and it can lead to constitutional crisis which will ultimately result to Jammeh to step down and formation of government of national unity. But a mere political campaign by opposition parties individually will not change the outcome of the bill , in fact it will embolden and legitimize the dictator . I know our opposition leaders are legal minded and democratic but they need to change tactics and stand on their ground against any illegal laws or constitutional violation .

  14. Lafia Touray la Manju

    Max, the political option does not connote violence but peaceful and legitimate means including engagement.


  15. Yerro Ba , the phrase “nothing will come out of it” is not helping Jammeh as you implied above but it simply mean Jammeh does whatever he want with total impunity . Jammeh like to say this phrase because he knows Gambian people will not stand up to him in anything he did wrong . Examples when he withdrew Gambia from commonwealth, EU , kicked out UN country representative at the start of his false Aids treatment and killing of nine prisoners , as well as daily continuous detention without trial , disappearance , murders and so on , nothing came out of all these crimes .

    • Maxs, If you have made an objective review of the political and diplomatic situation at home, your conclusion might be different. In a systematic way, something has always been coming out of what Jammeh does, whether this is visible to the ordinary eye or not. Jammeh’s actions especially at this present period are not his own making but calculated to respond to a message which i believe means “i know you Gambian people don’t like me but i will be here and nobody can do anything about it.” Why is he saying this? He believes that if he threatens people that nobody can do anything about his being here, the ignorant person can then say then “Let me just join him or leave him because he is a Mansa.” So i am saying that Jammeh is being isolated diplomatically outside and steadily loosing grip at home politically and this is what is responsible for his erratic behavior. In short it is called BUYING TIME. For example, telling the EU Chargee’ D’Affaires to leave but allowing the office to remain means that he simply wants the EU to replace the diplomat which of course will also take time and the one coming after her may not be pushing as hard as Agnes did on the political dialogue especially on the electoral reform. Imagine a political leader disconnected or isolated from almost all the international organizations in the world and who still wants to hang on to power because he cannot interpret or swallow the aftermath of losing that power.
      So i am saying that if we want to help our people to understand the situation better so that they become resolved, they should be helped to see that Jammeh is now too weak and frightened that he is loosing grip from all sides and that is what is responsible for his erratic behavior. Why is he turning the whole election program to a MONEY-affair? Because he has toured the country and saw with his own eyes that the real people that used to give him all the support have not turned up this time around. You and I are not there but he was there and he knows that the 200 or so plus vehicles filled with security personnel and other government and Parastatal officials including the recruits from all units are the ones who would go first to the meeting site to welcome him so that it would appear that it was the locals who came out on their own to do so. Why is he angry with elders in many places to the point of insulting them if he was happy with them? Because he knows the reality and he cannot fool himself. So let us see Jammeh as someone who is very desperate and is doing his last kicks as a dying horse and some of the fists are just a symptom of that general confusion. So everything that he does is adding up both quantitatively and qualitatively and everything the opposition does is also taking the same dimension.So sooner rather than later, the country will be freed from this madness and something tangible will come out of it.

  16. Lafia , I know no one who want violence but the political Reality in The Gambia is that there cannot be any significant changes without standing your ground which could lead to violence . Expect violence when dealing with jammeh. Peaceful engagement in the form of demonstration could turn into violence . There is no removal of a dictator from power anywhere in the world without a violence , so it is better we understand that very well . If Opposition leaders still continue to think they can effect change of government without a fight then they do not still understand jammeh. How about if opposition’s coalition win the election and jammeh refuse to step down ? What are they going to do ? Are they going to take him to Supreme Court or United Nations ? Remember , jammeh came to power through military coup , he sacrificed his life to be in that place , so Gambians have to sacrifice their lives to remove him . I for one , takes Jammeh’s words very seriously when he stated that “those who want to replace him must be ready to sacrifice their lives “.

    • Maxs, the opposition should not be looking for excuse to bring violence, they should be on their guard to see that the country change without violence. Violence must be imposed on them in which case they would have no option but to deal with that reality. You said if Jammeh is defeated and he refused to step down, well that reality will be dealt with at the right time. For the moment we should concentrate on what to do to defeat him politically which gives legitimacy to further actions should your speculations become a reality.

  17. Janjanbureh

    Yerro Bah, I totally disagree with you that the opposition should deal with it when Yaya Jammeh is defeated and he refuse to step down. It is a naive and weak strategy because they are not dealing with child’s play but a crazy dictator who is ready to use any means necessary to stay in power.

    My believe is that the opposition have to get their plans together and not wait until it happens before reacting to the situation. Lack of plans is total disaster for the opposition because they are dealing with undemocratic and dictatorial government of Yaya Jammeh which means that anything can happen at anytime. He doesn’t respect the Gambian constitution, life liberty or happiness of Gambians nor does he understand anything about God. Simply, he is half devil worshiper and half Muslim when it is convenient for him so let us not take anything lightly with him.

    After 21 years dealing with Yaya Jammeh, we shouldn’t take anything for granted and put our plans together ahead of time because he will not make things easy for Gambians to get rid of him. Have a bless day.

  18. Janjanbureh , I like your insight and understanding of the Gambian situation . Our opposition’s parties shouldn’t be reactionary parties but they should be on offensive and challenge the dictator in every aspect . One of the problem we have in our political dispensation or governance when dealing with Jammeh is naivety. Most Gambians are too naive when dealing with Jammeh and these includes some opposition’s politicians , top military leaders ,technocrats or business leaders and even his supporters . This is why he continue to eliminate every successful Gambians including the most educated and military leaders who he used and dumped , end up in mile two central prison . Our opposition politicians have the same problem , they are too naive until recently udp leadership begins to have courage to fight for their rights . If Senegalese people didn’t have courage and unity to challenge Abdoulie wade , he would have still being president of that country . The types of jammeh , need a strong challenger with inspirational characters or skill together with charisma to effect change. But playing a cat and mouse game will not achieve anything for us . Majority of commentators in this forum believe that jammeh will leave power without a fight . This is very naive thinking and this is why they do not want to accept the idea that violence will result to change of government . The violence I am referring to includes massive demonstration or popular uprising , extra constitutional means ( military coup ) or kill by suicide bomber or sniper ,or poison by beautiful women but I believe Jammeh will never peacefully hand over power to democratically elected government . I hope I am very wrong .Only when he naturally die then we can expect peaceful transfer but even with that there could be military coup because the military already tasted power for 20 years . So we need courageous and inspirational leader to remove jammeh.

  19. Janjanbureh

    Maxs, I used to support that option too but now, I have change my mind. The final solution is take no prisoners and eliminate him and anybody around him if it need to be. He is a pest that needs total elimination and the country can move forward in peace. For example in the case of Sani Abacha trying to capture him and bring him to face justice was so difficult but after he was killed they went after all stolen properties and monies kept all over the world. His associates were brought to face justice and the country was free to forward to implement democracy and rule of laws once again.

  20. Janjanbureh, good analysis and great insight in understanding the nature of military dictatorship . Jammeh was mentored by Sanni Abacha and liybian Gaddaffie. He copy his style of leadership from these two worst African dictators. They gave him money and weapons to build the very system we have today. Eventually he felt out with liybian dictator due to incarceration of baba Jobe who helped to establish the relationship between the two . If he is capture or kill, am all in for it as long as he is not in power. As civilized people , I think putting him in courts to understand how democracy works is good for the country.

  21. Janjanbureh

    Maxs, I do concur with you that when he is capture alive he should be brought to face justice. But if that is not possible then he should be eliminated to save lives and free the country from total collapse. I hope it happen soon. Thanks again for standing for the truth.

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