PDOIS: IEC Legitimises Impunity


Halifa Sallah 29 AUGUST 2015
For The Central Committee

The Central Committee of PDOIS received a letter from Alhagie Mustapha L Carayol, dated 19th August 2015 captioned “Regularisation of existing political parties in the Gambia.”

The letter made reference to the amendments made to section 105 of the Principal Act without going into the controversial details such as the increment of registration fee from five thousand dalasis to one Million dalasis and the increment of the registered membership from five hundred to ten thousand with at least one thousand members coming from each administrative area like Banjul , where only 9733 voters participated in the Mayoral elections and called for compliance by 31st March 2016 or face deregistration.

We have decided to write to showcase how badly this country’s electoral system is being managed and administered and how by commission and omission the APRC representatives with legislative and executive authority have been aiding and abetting such mis-governance of the electoral system. It is hoped that this would be an eye opener which would make the government appoint another Chairperson for the Independent Electoral Commission and accede to dialogue to discuss the reform proposals of the opposition.
In short, it is an irony of history that those who belong to a generation that is born and nurtured during the Independent and Republican era and who sneaked into power ahead of our generation under the pretext that it was better suited to defend the sovereignty of the people and ensure that power must emanate from their sovereign and undiluted will, without any hindrance, are systematically and calculatingly propagating values and conduct aimed at fettering democratic participation, dismantling checks and balances in democratic governance and openly promoting self perpetuating rule or presidency for life.

Let us now offer irrefutable proof.

When the Elections Amendment Bill 2015 was published in the Gazette in June 2015 we cautioned that the amendments to section105 requiring political parties to pay one Million dalasi registration fee could not be retroactively enforced on registered political parties and is therefore a bad law. We argued that Section 100 of the 1997 Constitution Subsection (2) has made it abundantly clear that “the National Assembly shall not pass a Bill to alter the judgment of a court in any proceedings to the prejudice of any party of those proceedings, or deprive any person retroactively of acquired or vested rights ……….”

We argued that since the amended version could not be applied retroactively to deprive registered political parties their right to exist it would be discriminatory in effect if new parties are required to pay a fee of one Million and to have 10000 members before they could be registered as political parties in the Gambia.
We argued that a Law which could not be enforced is no law at all and therefore proposed for the rejection of the Bill.

\The National Assembly disregarded the virtues of political consultation and pluralism and turned its back to the opinions of the other side and passed the Bill. The executive also ignored the opinion of the other side and assented to the Bill on 20th July 2015.
It was published in the Gazette as Act No: 6 of 2015. It is now law.

If the Act was applied retroactively, in full, in July 2015 there would not have been a by election in Lower Saloum. In short, all political parties should have been automatically de-registered. All National Assembly members would have lost their seats except the independent members. The National Assembly would have ceased to exist. Legislative power would have become null and void. A constitutional crisis would have been engendered.

By elections would have had to be held and all would have had to contest as independent candidates until the parties are registered under the new law.
Now that the IEC has seen the absurdity and irrationality of applying the law retroactively with immediacy, it has decided to apply the principle of administrative convenience while the APRC Executive looks at the other side with administrative indifference. This is why it has unilaterally postponed the date of reckoning to 31st March 2016, an election year. Instead of using one Million dalasi to conduct electoral campaign parties would be putting the sum in the coffers of the IEC as fee just to exist as a political party. Nothing could be more absurd than this.

However, parties without seats in the National Assembly have options. They could ask their presidential candidates to take the Independent route and not waste resources on bureaucratic obstacles just to remove the incumbent and then uproot all the stumbling blocks to democratic participation after victory.

However, parties with seats in the National Assembly risk losing those seats by 31st March 2016 if they do not meet all the conditions, and the regime does not have a change of heart.

Hence the decision of the IEC to enforce the Act by 31March 2016 is a manifestation of administrative impunity and not rooted in law, common sense, justice or fair play. It is arbitrary and unconstitutional. It imposes undue hindrance in the exercise of freedom of association and the right to participate to vote for the candidate of one’s choice even though the Constitution speaks against retroactive application.

On 26th August 2015 Mr Carayol indicated at a workshop on electoral reform, that “the IEC has created five more constituencies making the total number of constituencies now fifty three.”

Section 88 of the Constitution states that” The National Assembly shall comprise forty eight members elected from constituencies demarcated by the Boundaries Commission.”

Where then does the IEC come in? The answer is simple. The IEC used to be responsible for the demarcation of constituencies under Section 50 of the Constitution until it was amended in 2001 to give the role to a Constituency Boundaries Commission which has never been established because of executive and legislative indifference.

Suffice it to say, even though Section 88 restricted and still restricts the number of constituencies which could exist at a time, which is also an absurdity which will bind the hands of the Boundaries Commission once established and needs redress, the IEC under Bishop Tilewa Johnson did retain the number of constituencies but re-demarcated the boundaries to ensure that each constituency contains, as nearly as possible, equal number of inhabitants . The Constitution was amended through the collaboration of the executive and the legislature to make the work of his team, null and void. Section 88 was amended to provide room for the Constituencies to be increased from 45 to 48 and the IEC was given the following role:
“Until the National Assembly establishes a Boundaries Commission under subsection 1, the constituencies as prescribed in Part II of schedule I to the Elections Act and any additional constituencies required for the purpose of section 88(1) (a) demarcated by the Independent Electoral Commission in consultation with the appropriate Department of State shall be deemed to be constituencies for the purpose of returning members of the National Assembly under that section.”

This simply means that Section 88 must be amended to make room for 53 Constituencies before the IEC could legally carry out any demarcation of constituencies. Mis-governance of the electoral system and Impunity also exist in this domain aided and abetted by the ruling party which has the parliamentary majority and should have enacted a Constituency Boundaries Commission Act since 2001 but has honoured this duty with utter disregard.

Furthermore, when the IEC first announced on 28th May 2015 that there would be a By election in Bwiam ward on 23 July 2015 due to the expulsion of the Councillor from the APRC party we pointed out that there was no provision in the local government Act which provided for vacation of council seat due to expulsion from a party. The IEC revoked the By election. Since the Councillor had already left the jurisdiction she could vacate her seat either by resignation or absenteeism or being recalled by the electorate.
Interestingly enough on 7 July 2015 the National Assembly passed a Bill which was assented to on 20 July 2015 amending section 19 of the local Government Act to make it possible for a member of a Council to lose his or her seat “if he or she ceases to be a member of the political party of which he or she was a member at the time of his or her election.”

It is therefore clear that laws are not being amended to empower the electorate but to consolidate the absolutism of executive power. This is ushering the Gambia towards a perilous route of self perpetuating rule if the people are distracted and misled to mystify the absolutism and invincibility of power.

We will not take the route of whining and mystifying power. Power is in the hands of the sovereign people. Legislative and executive powers are borrowed powers. They are not owned. They could be reclaimed and seized by the owners
We know that when those entrusted with executive and legislative power lack the confidence of the support of the people they must take desperate measures to mask their weakness. PDOIS will not be distracted. It has been building its grassroots base and branches in villages, districts, constituencies and regions before any amendment Act was envisaged. We are now consolidating those branches and the membership.
We have held a Congress in May 2015 while the ruling party has been postponing its congress even though it has more resources at its disposal.

The Congress adopted an enhanced version of the party Constitution and Manifesto which are now being edited for publication and mass circulation by the end of September.

Our Central Committee is enlarged to include regional representation based on Gender parity. Hence there is more than 33 percent gender parity and youth representation in all party Committees or decision making bodies.

We have held successful rallies and tours and will continue to intensify them to mobilise the people by their tens of thousands for democratic change. We will educate them to know that law making is based on borrowed power while power to employ law makers is owned by the people. Hence when people are dissatisfied with laws they should not become apathetic and surrender power to those who would abuse power of representation but should in fact become more resolved to replace those law makers who breach their trust with others who would obey their dictates. The wages of making bad laws is to vacate one’s seat. Impunity should not pay dividend. It should come with a heavy price that no one would wish to pay. That is the way to end it.

We will intensify our diplomatic initiative in the sub-region, Africa, US and Europe to promote international support for electoral reform. When governments are unilateral in their actions and are not opened to their opposition mediation must be sought to avoid conflict. We are willing to collaborate with opposition parties and civil society to attain the goals of genuine electoral reform and ensure democratic change.

Neighbouring Senegal could contribute to fairer elections by closing its borders on election day and advising all its citizens not to take part in the elections. Civil society in Senegal would be encouraged to do the same. 2016 will not be a child’s play. Power will not be surrendered by apathy. It will be entrusted by a re-energised, re-activated and re- motivated electorate, to whom they so will.

We are on course to open up the list of Candidature and hold a primary to select our presidential Candidate before the end of the year.

We would not be distracted in promoting the candidature of the choice of our members and advocate for electoral reform in collaboration with all other stakeholders.

We would hold a Congress at the end of February 2016 to review all developments on the political landscape and come up with a resolution on the way forward for PDOIS and the country.

Every just human being would agree with us that law breakers have no moral authority to be law enforcers. It is out ardent hope that before presiding over the de-registration of parties on 31 March 2016 Mr Carayol who has served as IEC member for more than the two seven year term limit established by Section 42 of the Constitution, would recognise that he is no longer qualified to be a member of the Commission and would vacate his seat.

We hope an executive that preaches dialogue to political stakeholders in Guinea Bissau would equally understand the importance of electoral reform to keep hope alive when a people are faced with unbridled economic hardship.

Despite the repetition of an ambition of being an economic superpower the GAMBIA is still ranked among heavily indebted poor countries of the world.

We are importing 1.9 billion worth of rice despite the claim of a self sufficiency drive under Vision 2016. There is a big gap between the 46,000 tons (forty six thousand tons) produced in 2014 and the 200,000 (200,000 tons) needed. NEMA, FASDEP and GCAV which should have injected 130 million dollars in the agricultural sector are now in limbo.

In 2013 The Gambia earned 415 Million dalasis from domestic exports and 3.4 Billion dalasis from re-exports while spending 12,5 Billion Dalasis on imports leaving the country with a trade deficit of 8..7 Billion dalasis. The Trade deficit for 2014 is estimated to be 250.2 Million Dollars or 10 Billion dalasis at current exchange rate. The growth in GDP has declined to 0.5 percent in 2014.

The budget deficit in 2014 is estimated at 3.4 Billion dalasis. Hence domestic borrowing which is beyond 19 Billion dalasis will continue to increase.
Prices of goods are getting higher, quality and quantity of goods for money are dropping.

The lower 40 percent are living on an income of less than 1000 dalasis per month which is equivalent to the price of four kilos of meat and less than a bag of rice.
Drugs are more expensive and maintaining a family has become prohibitive.
While Singapore has a per capita income of 78,763 dollars while UAE has a per income of 59 845 dollars while Gambia has per Capita income of 1661 dollars as per World Bank Report. Where then is the basis of the claim of heading towards an economic super power status.

When will we be able to move from being a debtor country to become creditor when our mineral resources could not even account for a rise in per capita income which does not even take wealth distribution into account.

In this regard, there is nothing to be gained by political intolerance and the propagation of the doctrine of self perpetuating rule for life under the pretense of divine mandate. Such an ideology only breeds absolutism and autocracy and subverts the sovereignty of the people and democratic participation.

The homeland is in need of a new breed of citizenry who would abhor ignorance, degradation, greed, poverty and tyranny and adore awareness, dignity, prosperity, justice and liberty. This is the demand of the 21st Century. We must answer to the call or perish.



  1. PDOIS along with all the political parties should take the matter of these illegal laws to the supreme court. They should not wait for 2016 to go into an elections which would be based on illegal and unconstitutional laws like the last saloum by election.

    There is no shortcuts to this.

  2. Writing long essay which indicate all the illegal conducts , laws , violations, unethical and conflict of interest would never remove or sway the dictator from what he wanted to do . Actions and language that the dictator understand is his own language . Without actions even if we write for next one hundred years , Jammeh will never change his ways. He will sit down and laugh at us as he has been doing for the past 21 years .

  3. @PDOIS Statement…”We have decided to write to show case how badly this country’s electoral system is being managed and administered and how by commission and omission the APRC representatives with legislative and executive authority have been aiding and abetting such mis-governance of the electoral system….”

    Comment….This is not an essay…It is a STATEMENT from a legally constituted political party, to inform the electorate about (amongst other things) mal-governance of the electoral system and the complicity of the ruling party… (at both the legislative and executive levels)…

    @PDOIS Statement….”We will intensify our diplomatic initiative in the sub-region, Africa, US and Europe to promote international support for electoral reform…”

    Comment….I.don’t know.what sort of.actions you.want PDOIS to take Maxs, but PDOIS knows what it wants to do and is well.focused on.the job..

    @PDOIS Statement. ..”We are on course to open up the list of Candidature and hold a primary to select our presidential Candidate before the end of the year.”

    Comment….I think this has answered the criticism of the same leadership situation and.I hope the choice of the party is respected, even if it is one.of the founding members…

    • Bax, PDOIS is for a primary to be held and UPD is against a primary for selecting a UNITY candidate.
      PDOIS premise their stand on democracy principles whiles UDP premise their stand on being the largest opposition party.
      A remake of the 2011 elections selection process (ping pong) game is looming on the horizon yet again.
      What both parties cannot apprehend and and not ready to sacrifice is the fact that a (simple majority) vote victory is the major trap JK has thrown in the election ring thus, singly put, no individual candidate can singly win JK percentage wise. We run the risk of having a president with 30% of the votes.
      It looks like my pledge of D2 million dalasis will remain in my pocket.
      NEXT please! no time to waste….

  4. Bax, even though Pdois is well aware of illegality of election act 2015, unconstitutionality of iec chairman in occupying chairmanship position and other illegal acts , Pdois is planing to open up the list of candidature and hold a primary to select presidential candidate before the end of the year, without electoral reforms.Don’t you think they are easily handing over victory to jammeh. The actions they should have initiated is to call for massive demonstration and this should be in collaboration with other parties . Without changes to current situation , it is 100 percent certain that they have conceded to Jammeh’s victory . Their priority actions should have been the removal of iec chairman , electoral reforms , fight to nullify election act 2015 and complete restructure of iec. If the field is not level , why do you have play the ball . Does that make any sense ?
    As I said before , writing long eassy or statements won’t change a thing in Jammeh’s book . There has to be actions . Dictators never leave Power without an actions .

  5. Lafia Touray la Manju

    It’s good to see that pdois is now putting ‘primary’ in its right context. I hope they will keep it that and save us all from aggravated nuisance.

    “We are on course to open up the list of Candidature and hold a primary to select our presidential Candidate “- PDOIS.


  6. Maxs…

    PDOIS is a registered political party with legal obligations under the law….They may be aware of the absurdity of the law and the unconstitutionality of the actions of the authorities, but they still have to operate within the law…

    Their role here is to expose the authorities, educate the electorate, seek support (inside and abroad ) liase with other opposition parties to challenge the actions of the authorities…. and finally present their case to the electorate at elections…

    It is the electorate that hand victory to a candidate, in this case, Yaya Jammeh…Not PDOIS or any of the parties that contest elections….nor do their participation legitimise the elections or the regime, which they are often accused of…There is nowhere in the constitution where it says “legitimacy of elections is dependent on participation of opposition parties..

    I know a lot of people are obsessed with demonstrations because they just want action, regardless of the consequences and outcome, but the opposition leaders are responsible people who are also concious of their duties to behave and operate responsibly…I.don’t think they will call for demonstrations just for the sake of it and I.hope they never do…

    Those of you who want demonstrations must go to Banjul and have your demonstrations..Don’t expect the opposition to do it for you. .

    In any case, most demonstrations that topple dictatorships are spontaneous and initiated by ordinary people,mostly disatisfied youths…So you could.start one using Facebook and other social networking tools…

  7. Bax, participation in election for the sake of it , is simply giving legitimacy to the regime . If you care to win then you must insist on level playing field .
    As for demonstrations , patriotic Gambians will do everything possible to see that the regime is gone and this includes demonstration as a means . For your information, demonstration is a form of challenging the authority . It is the responsibility of every citizens and political parties to challenge the authority if they act illegally . Don’t give us excuse that you are operating under the law when you have a tyrant killing people and abusing the citizens.

    • Max, don’t worry, mass UPRISING will take place, Gambia is not an island nor its people from Mars. Everyone is feeling the economic and social pinch and a spontaneous mass uprising with certainly happen.
      No sane gambian is waiting for a whistle blow from any opposition party, they will riseup like a locust invasion and invade the power that be.
      Mark my words Maxs , I can see and feel the poeple’s frustrations translating in a suicide action. They only thing left for the people is a honorable RIP with a monument erected in the heroic names in one hand and VICTORY and prayers of the survivors on the other hand.

  8. Lafia…Primaries are mechanisms to select candidates for elections…There is no hard and fast rule that restricts the use primaries to intra-party selections alone..

    Indeed, it is.most commonly used in places like the USA for intra-party selections but it could also be.used for inter-party selections…So stop your attempts to mislead people..

    • Haha! primary the ping pong game has started, primaries, no primaries, yes, no, why, why no, I am a democrat, you are not a realist, my party is bigger, my party is principled…SERIOUSLY?
      What I see on the ground, is that these opposition pary leaders are totally SATISFIED in remaining presidents of their respective parties are not that of the Gambia. Then so be it.
      Max is right in calling for a mass demonstration and Bax is right in warning not to COUNT on the parties leading a demonstration.
      From what I see on the ground a SPONTANEOUS demonstration will take place sooner or later, no matter what the outcome will be. The writings are on the wall for everyone on the ground to see.
      For those of you in the diaspora, you can keep the pressure with the International Community to cut JK from the rest of world and leave those on the ground to speed up the final public PUSH to oust JK from State House.
      Burkina Faso uprising is fast coming to Ganbia.

  9. Lafia Touray la Manju

    Bax, internal mechanism you should say. That’s what primaries are universally known for.


  10. Bax, Pdois holding primary is going to be interesting to watch. Given the small size and its poor recognizability in majority district in the country, I wonder who are on the list of these candidates. I know three prominent members in the country, Sam, Seedia and Halifa, I am wondering if they are going to run against each other in each constituency.
    Bax , I think the best process that can help Pdois select their presidential candidate is through caucus. This makes more sense for Pdois to use than Primary. In caucus, members of Pdois from each constituency will meet (convention, congress or gathering) and decide who is to lead the party by selecting delegates. This is more feasible, sensible and practical than idea of primary. In the USA where Primary is mostly practice, note that not all states are doing primary process, small states usually do caucus. Caucus is less time consuming, participants knows candidates better and less expensive. Please I would suggest Pdois should think of caucus process so that delegates can be selected in each district before the convention. My suggestion is simply based on small size support based of Pdois.

  11. Lafia , you are right , primaries are internal party affairs to select their own presidential candidate . Selection of party president candidate can be done Through primaries or caucus process . I don’t understand why Pdois would suggest that they should run against other political candidates before any coalition or alliance is being formed . Why do you have involve UDP , nrp or PPP in the primary ?

  12. Lafia and Maxs….

    Primaries are political tools or mechanisms to select candidates, where more than one individual show interest to lead… So too are conventions, if convened for the same purpose. ..like happened in Nigeria..

    I agree that in the United States, it is used for intra-party selections but it there is NO RULE anywhere that says it cannot be used for inter-party selections…

    In Venezuela, it was successfully used to select a single all party candidate, who went on to do very well against the incumbent…There is no UNIVERSALITY in its use as an internal mechanism…

    So stop your attempts to mislead people..

  13. DH…I.think the primary PDOIS is talking about here is to select a PDOIS Presidential Candidate….Not an opposition candidate…

    Tell Maxs to leave the opposition leaders alone….Mass demonstrations have a better chance of success when they are spontaneous and people initiated….

    Any planned demonstration in The Gambia will fail because the security will thwart it even before it starts…

  14. @Maxs.. .” I don’t understand why Pdois would suggest that they should run against other political candidates before any coalition or alliance is being formed . Why do you have involve UDP , nrp or PPP in the primary ?”

    Comment….Actually Maxs, it is incorrect to say that it is PDOIS that is suggesting holding a primary…

    All parties that took part in negotiations to form NADD and signed the MOU, have all signed up to the idea of an inter-party primary to select a flag bearer (presidential candidate)..Go and satisfy yourself by reading the Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) that they all signed…

    Only PDOIS has remained committed to what it signed up to…A true indication that they are TRUST WORTHY and can be trusted….All the others have since gone back on their words…

    Some have even subsequently questioned the rationale of the very things they signed up to in the first place…I only hope that they did not swear to the Quran or Bible at the signing ceremony… because that will be very, very bad…

  15. Bax , I thought NADD is dead long time ago . Is memorandum of understanding still valid since NADD is non functioning party ?

  16. Lafia Touray la Manju

    Bax, primary was not successfully used in Venuzuela. On the contrary, it led to the splintering of the opposition coalition which gave Chavez an advantage. However, when the opposition abandoned primary in the subsequent election against Maduro having recognised that it is divisive and counter-productive, they managed to stay united and gave the incumbent a run for his money. The gap was a lot slimmer than it was previously. The incumbent won by a very thin margin.

    Venuzuela is the only country in the world where a primary was held among opposition groups and that makes it an extreme exception. The fact remains that primary is universally known as an internal party mechanism for selecting a leader or candidate.

    The NADD MOU only provided for a primary as a matter of last resort and if all other options laid down in the MOU failed. It was not a first port of call. Nadd collapsed at the first hurdle.


  17. Maxs….

    The point is not whether the MOU is still valid or whether NADD is still alive….The point really is to dismiss your assertion that holding a primary was the suggestion of PDOIS….and to show that the idea of holding a primary was commonly agreed by all parties in 2006…

    Only PDOIS is returning to the idea because they meant what they signed up to in 2006. The same cannot be said of the other parties….They did not really believe in what they signed up to, which should be a cause for concern for any electorate…How can you trust parties that sign up to something in one year but question its rationale in another year ?

  18. Quotes @Lafia…..

    (1l)…..”Bax, primary was not successfully used in Venuzuela….”

    Comment….Absolutely FALSE…The Venezuelan Primary did not lead to the defeat of the populist incumbent (late Chavez) but it was very successful and for many reasons, two of which are as follows… 

    (i)…..for the first time as incumbent, Chavez was challenged by a single united opposition candidate and was actually given a “run for his money”…Infact, most opinion polls before the elections were so close that many analysts predicted that the vote could go either way..;

    (ii)….the primaries galvanised the electorate and the turnout at the Presidential election was a historic 80+% that has not been seen for decades in a country where voting is not mandatory…..(it is something we in The Gambia, with perhaps the highest voter apathy rate in the region, can definitely learn from)…

    (2)….”On the contrary, it led to the splintering of the opposition coalition which gave Chavez an advantage..”

    Comment….Again, absolutely FALSE…The opposition contenders at the primaries namely, Capriles (winner), Lopez, Machado, Perez and Arria all remained united behind the winning opposition candidate, Capriles..

    The “smaller” groups that left the opposition alliance did.so only after the primaries and for mainly two reasons…

    (1)…when a “secret” policy document signed by the four, out of five main contenders, was made public… (only Diego Arria did not sign the document )..

    The document was an.agreement between the signatories,pledging to revert back to the neo-liberal policies of pre-Chavez era and.this did not go down well with the leftist & center left parties in the coalition and so they left the coalition…( Capriles later denied the agreement and said his signature on the document was forged)

    (2)…Capriles’ campaign strategy : Capriles recognised the popularity of late Chavez and his social reform policies with the people, and did not want to be seen to be “too anti-Chavez” for fear of alienating the common and mostly, poor people who benefitted from Chavez’s social reform policies…

    Some of his opposition partners saw this as trying to be another “Chavez” and left the alliance…Alto Cermeno, leader of the Christian Democratic Party (COPEI), even called him a “photocopy” of Chavez before switching to the Chavez camp…

    (3)….”However, when the opposition abandoned primary in the subsequent election against Maduro… ….The gap was a lot slimmer than it was previously. The incumbent won by a very thin margin…”

    Comment….Do you have to be a political analyst to figure out why..? Maduro is not Chavez…He.lacks the charisma,the personality and the oratory power of Chavez…Without Chavez’s legacy and memory, Maduro may not even have won…

    (4)…”Venuzuela is the only country in the world where a primary was held among opposition groups and that makes it an extreme exception…”

    Comment…This does provide irrefutable proof that primaries are not just for internal selection, even.if that is what they have been mostly used for…Primaries can.also be used between different parties as the Venezuela experience has shown..

    (5)…”The NADD MOU only provided for a primary as a matter of last resort…”

    Comment…Well, at least you.are conceding that holding a “Primary” was not the suggestion of PDOIS, as Maxs alluded earlier…

    The MOU mentioned only one.other form for selecting candidates and that was by CONCENSUS…It stated that a “primary” was to be held where there was no concensus and we all know now.that there was no concensus…

    I.dont know what other options were there for you to claim that “primary” was a “last resort” when all others fail..May be.you can tell us…

    • Lafia Touray la Manju

      Bax, you don’t know your facts. Venuzuela had a lot of opposition presidential hopefuls.

      After the primary, one of the loosing candidates still went on to contest the election against Chevez and was supported by a section of the opposition fold.

      Chevez did not have one opposition opponent against him in that election. Only Maduro had that and this was after the opposition abandoned primary as a mode of selection and accepted Capriles as the leading opposition figure without any resort to a primary.

      Chevez win comfortably while Maduro struggled with a thin margin. These are the facts. It also goes to show that the Venuzeula opposition primary is an extreme exception being the only precedent in the history of world politics. The universal norm remains that primaries are internal party mechanism for selecting a leader or candidate.

      As for NADD’s MOU, I don’t how you can make someone abide by a rule of an association that he/she is no longer part of. We don’t do that in our world of normal people.

      As I have said before, NADD’s MOU only provided for a primary as a matter of last resort and if all other options laid down in the MOU failed. It was not a first port of call. Nadd collapsed at the first hurdle. in any case, NADD is an obsolete and dysfunctional party that is overdue for de-registration. So what is the point about beating a dead horse?? How about a forward thinking attitude or is that not in PDOIS’ vocabulary?? The point is; you will never succeed in trying to push NADD’s MOU through the back door or force it onto other opposition parties who are no longer part of NADD.


  19. Lafia Touray la Manju

    By the way, the primary idea in the NADD MOU was a pdois idea which others just ignore because they knew we were never going to get there since UDP was the only party that can satisfy the creteria as set out in the MOU. Everybody knew concensus was the only way out and that is why so much effort was placed on it.

    No party including PDOIS called for a primary after the first attempt in finding a concensus failed.

    NADD actually ended up finding a concensus candidate, Bax. His name is Halifa Ababacarr Dodou Sallah of Serrekunda. He was not chosen through a primary to become a presidential candidate in 2006. He was a concensus candidate.

    Anyway, all these is history. People are talking about the future after almost 10yrs debate on NADD. Are you joining us??

  20. Lafia Touray la Manju

    Bax, As a matter of fact, six opposition candidates contested against Chavez who won with 54% compared to Capriles 44.9%. Capriles accepted this result.


    compared to the election including Maduro and when no Primary was used to select a opposition candidate, the gap became slimmer; 1.5%. Capriles refused to accept this result.

    PDOIS is not teaching you anything.


  21. Bax,

    Pls do not bother. Lafia would never accept Democratic process to prevail in any coalition with UDP. Its only that his types want their leader to be another Yahya Jammeh who was blindly selected by his colleagues after the coup simply due to his seniority only to end up liquidating them all.

    Or he wants his leader to be another Ablie Wade who was selected to lead in a 2nd round without any conditions, only to end up liquidating all others like Mustapha Nyass, Tanour Geng etc. He does not only stop there. He refused to leave and wanted his son Karim to succeed him. Lives that to lose b4 he was flushed out in 2012.

    If we are blaming Yahya of being undemocratic, then we should set those standards and be ready to live by them.

    For their information and for anyone who cares to know. PDOIS would never be counted among the divorcees of the UDP marriages of convenience with the ncp, PPP, gpdp, nrp, GMC.

    If you can’t do the job without me, then we have to have binding and transparent commitments that the Gambians can judge us all by.

  22. Lafia. ..

    I must admit my mistake in claiming that a single candidate contested against late Chavez…The source document I referred to did actually indicate that there were four other candidates…I missed that because I just relied on the presidential elections results table, which displayed the results of only the two candidates..

    However, that does not change the fact that the primaries were successful and those who relied behind Capriles after the primary,presented the main challenge to the incumbent….

    There was no primarily against Maduro because it was the same Capriles who represented the coalition of opposition parties and like I.stated before, the margin was narrower because the incumbent has changed…

  23. Lafia Touray la Manju

    Gambia, your understanding of democratic process defers from the rest of the world. In the world that we live in, the democratic process that underpins coalition politics always have the party with the biggest following lead.


  24. @Lafia…”By the way, the primary idea in the NADD MOU was a pdois idea which others just ignore because they knew we were never going to get there…..”

    Comment….Really Lafia..? Where is your proof for this claim ? Do you know the implications of this claim..? Could you really trust the judgement of parties that “ignore” an important provision in a document they agreed to sign..which eventually led to the failure of the endeavour ?

    If nobody called for a primary,why did it become an issue with all then..? Why did the UDP need to clarify their position on primaries..?

    Of course, the MOU identified CONCENSUS as the first option….A primary is the second option…I will ask you again, where are the “all other options” you keep referring to ?

    If NADD selected Halifa as their consensus candidate, they have done nothing wrong because that is what the MOU stated…

  25. @….” the democratic process that underpins coalition politics always have the party with the biggest following lead.”

    Comment….This is NOT TRUE because there are many instances where such considerations (party following, resources,etc) are put aside for the common interest of all..That is what we are asking for in The Gambia…

    By the way,my views don’t represent PDOIS in any way, shape or form. ..Please be able to make that distinction or are you that invalid..?

    • Lafia Touray la Manju

      We have both acknowledged that Venuzeula is an extreme exception and even there, primary was only done once and never repeated due to the disastrous consequence it brought on the opposition. Now tell us something about the so-called many instances that you are alluding to so that we can know something about them. Where in this world are these many instances, Bax??

  26. Lafia Touray la Manju

    Bax, it was a different election though. The primary was held to find a candidate to stand against chavez. In the election against Maduro, the primary was abandoned and more opposition figures and parties supported Carpriles than was before. Again, this is just an incontrovertible fact.

    Like I said before, the aim of the primary was to have one candidate which all the opposition parties and figures can support. This did no happen and thereby defeating the objective of holding a primary in the first place. That is not success in my book.

    Carpriles narrowed the gap against Maduro because he attracted extra support from other opposition figures who weren’t part of his campaign against Chavez because of the fall-out from the primary Carpriles won.

    We have agreed that Nadd is an obsolete and dysfunctional party thst is overdue for de-registration. I hope that means we won’t be talking about its mou anymore.

    You need to ditch pdois and depend on me for your political education


  27. Lafia Touray la Manju

    Bax, get your proof from Halifa Sallah. Ask him whether it was not him and pdois which stoke the primary provision in the Nadd mou. If he says no, I will provide my proof to you. The mou was a compromise document. That means there is always going to be something someone don’t like but that has to be balanced with all others. That’s how coalition politics works. You don’t get to like everything.

    By the way, the primary provision was not fundamental in the mou. It was a secondary provision congent on the total failure of other options to select a candidate. Nadd ended up selecting Halifa Sallah as a candidate through concensus.

    As I have said before, Nadd is a dead horse. People are talking about the future. Don’t be too late my friend.

  28. Lafia Touray la Manju

    Ok on the othe options Bax. The word concensus is broad. Nadd had the leverage to explore many formulas to achieve concensus. That is what I mean when I talk about other options other than a primary. You will recall the first attempt to select a candidate through concensus failed. They had to try again. They literally can go on like that as many times as possible. Primary was only to be invoked if they all came to the conclusion that reaching a concessions is not possible. But as long as some or even one party believe that concensus is possible, they can try it as many times as they want and that make primary a high unlikely. Everybody knew this at the time.

  29. Lafia Touray la Manju

    Ok you are not going get me talk about Nadd again. It’s history and dead.

  30. You can’t give the answer to show “all other options” then…That’s fine…

    I have just taken a closer look at the 2013 Venezuela presidential elections and it seems you have also made an incorrect claim by saying only Maduro had one challenger.

    So with or without a primary,there was no single candidate.. .However, even though Capriles lost by a narrow margin, the voter turnout of 2012 could not be reached…And the primary had made it easy for Capriles to be agreed upon by the opposition as their chosen man…

    Who knows whether they would have agreed if he had not been elected at the primary..

  31. Lafia Touray la Manju

    That sounds like an acknowledgement that primary was abandoned.

    Another thing you did know about Venuzeulan politics is that there is no such there as the biggest party. They have so many parties who form blocs in parliament and generally contest elections that way. Some are regional based parties. So in the election against Maduro, the opposition candidate, Carpriles, came from the biggest opposition bloc.

    I am teaching you Ndokay.


  32. It’s not an acknowledgement..It’s just to point out that none of the incumbents faced a single candidate, with or without a primary, as we both erroneously claimed…

    There was no need for a primary to challenge Maduro because there seems to have been agreement (concensus ) to rally behind the previous primary winner…

    Blocks are just alliances of different parties, some of which will be “bigger” or more influencial than others in the politics of their country…

    What you should be asking and answering is whether any of the parties joining any blocks have insisted that they must lead because of their past records…

    For example, the Democracy Unity Roundtable (MUD), which is the block/alliance led by Capriles against both late Chavez and Maduro, consists of about 13 political parties, with.different levels of influence in Venezuelan politics….some of which have been in government and have provided leaders who served as presidents of Venezuela..

    One such party is the Christian Democrats or COPEI and their former leader, Rafael Caldera, who is also a member of MUD, have served as president of Venezuela from 1969 – 1974 and 1994 – 1999…

    Capriles, on the other hand, belongs to the Justice First Party, which he was a founder member in 2000, and even though it did well in the parliamentary and mayoral elections, it was still a smaller party than the Democratic Action (Venezuela ), if we go by the criteria : votes equal size…

    The Democratic Action (Venezuela ) and COPEI are two of the most influential parties in Venezuela, who have had more presidents of Venezuela between them than any other parties…

    So the question is: Did the.leaders of these parties insist on leading only under their parties and nothing else..?

  33. Lafia Touray la Manju

    I have already clarify that there is no such as the biggest opposition party in Venuzeula. Their politics is largely based on political blocs due to the sheer number of parties in the country. Carpriles belongs to the largest opposition bloc.


  34. Lafia Touray la Manju

    By the way and as a matter of fact, Carpriles is not from a smaller party and he himself is a big figure in his own right. He was an elected Governor in one of the regions and enjoys popularity nation-wide.

    We’ve all agree that the Venuzeulan opposition primary that only happened once and was never repeated is nit out of the odds and not in tandem with universal norms. If you disagree with this now, I would you to cite another country anywhere in this world where a primary was used to select a coalition candidate??? If can’t provide any or choose to ignore this request, it will be myself conclusion that you are simply playing the nuisance card you borrowed from Halifa Sallah.


  35. Bax, check Argentina. They have an interesting coalition/allaince system that involve the use of primaries to choose a presidential candidate.

  36. You’re right kamalo… Inter-party Primaries are a common selection method in Argentina… and Russia too..

  37. Lafia Touray la Manju

    I have no confirmation of Argentina. When did that happen??

    The funny bit is that out of the whole world, you can only cite two countries, one of which I have no confirmation of while the other did it only once and never repeated it, and yet you are still bold enough to say inter-opposition primary is common?? Are you in your trees?? Well, the facts do not support your assertions. I think you need to do better than this. You are simply playing the nuisance card you borrowed from Halifa Sallah. That’s all this is.


  38. Quotes @Lafia…

    (1)…”I have no confirmation of Argentina. When did that happen??”

    Comment….Remember what I said.to you about Primaries..? I said Primaries are candidate selection mechanisms and how it is used depends on who is using it…

    You (including Maxs) have this erroneous belief that primaries are only used for intra-party selections, as happen in the USA, but that is not the case..

    Admittedly, the USA model ( INTRA-PARTY MODEL) is probably the most commonly used around the world, but there are at least two other models that are known to be used for selection purposes…There is the ALL PARTY MODEL, as well as, the INTER-PARTY MODEL…

    In Argentina, since around 1985, it became a constitutional requirement to conduct nationwide ALL PARTY PRIMARIES to select and limit the number of candidates at any elections…A candidate must receive a certain percentage of the votes at these primaries (I think 1.5% for presidential aspirants ), which is mandatory for all registered voters between the ages of 18 and 69, to be on the ballot papers…

    The last primary for presidential aspirants was held on August 9th this year, where a number of contestants got the required votes to have their names on November’s ballot papers for the presidential election, including Daniele Scioli (FPV ), Mauricio Macri (Cambiamos alliance) and Sergio Massa (UNA Coalition ). ..

    Indeed, like I stated earlier, primaries are common in Argentina… (including inter-party primaries)

  39. (2)…”The funny bit is that out of the whole world, you can only cite two countries, one of which I have no confirmation of…”

    Comment…Are you raising the bar..? You challenged me to cite ONE instance and.I cited TWO instances…Argentina and Russia…

    Here’s what you asked : @Lafia… “If you disagree with this now, I would you to cite another country anywhere in this world where a primary was used to select a coalition candidate???”

    In 2007, INTER-PARTY Primaries were held by “The Other Russia” Coalition to select a unified opposition candidate to.contest the presidential elecrions against the pro-Kremlin candidates, including President Putin…

    The contenders included Garry Kasparov (United Civil Front & former chess champion), Mikhail Kasyanov (People’s Democratic Union & ex-prime minister), Gregory Yablinsky (Yabloko),
    Gennady Zyuganov (Communist Party), Boris Nemptsov (a far right leader) and other party leaders..

    Here’s is another instance of INTER-PARTY primaries to select a single unified candidate…

    The UNION coalition in Italy held nationwide primaries to.select a single coalition leader and Romano Prodi emerged as the winner and went on to win.the general elections and lead the coalition in government, as Prime Minister, from April 2006 to April.2008…There were about 5 or 6 other contenders for the leadership position..

    Commenting on this UNION victory in the general election, former Prime Minister, Silvio Bellesconi, is quoted to have said that it was only possible due to the primary the coalition held…He definitely knows a thing or two about elections and he should be listened to by The Gambian opposition…

  40. @Lafia ….

    “…..while the other did it only once and never repeated it….”

    Comment….I guess you mean Venezuela..If so, then you are wrong again because inter-party primaries have been held in Venezuela just last May, to select parliamentary candidates for their national elections…

    The (Roundtable) United Democratic Panel (MUD) of Capriles held primaries in may this year to select its candidates for the parliamentary elections…

    At the first count of.ballot, JUSTICE FIRST Party, which is the party of Capriles, got 13 selected; Democratic Action got 7; Christian Democrats (Copei ) got 1 and other alliance parties also got members selected to represent MUD at the national parliamentary elections..

    So primaries have not been abandoned in Venezuela….as you claimed…And it is clear that INTRA-PARTY Primary is NOT the only model….There are (Non-Partisan) All Party Primaries and INTER-PARTY Primaries..