UDP Shuns ‘Centre Table Politics’

udp tanje
UDP supporters and militants at a rally in Tanje

The United Democratic Party says gone are the days of what it calls “Center Table Politics.” This type of politics allows politicians to spend invaluable time on the table instead of meeting the electorate in their villages and towns – the only way to feel their plight and exchange ideas with them.

This message becomes the center piece of the party’s narative in Tanje village in Kombo North on Sunday where a mass rally takes place. It is a continuation of the party’s politics of engagement ahead of the 2016 presidential elections.

The party’s officials have been warmly welcomed by the coastal villagers. They too express their hunger for a regime change through the ballot. Columns of vehicles transport the UDP militants from the surrounding towns and villages to Tanje. Once again, youths from the ruling Alliance for Patriotic Re-orientation and Construction in Brufut have defected to the opposition UDP. The youths, who in the past mortgage their future to the ruling party, have no choice other than switching allegiance.

An influential opposition kingpin from Brufut, Baba Galleh Jallow, coordinated the defections. Like majority of Gambians, the defectors too are filled with disappointment.

There has been power outage in Tanje soon after the rally kicks off. Perhaps, this is meant to dampen the spirits of determined opposition militants. But that is never the case, as the rally goes ahead uninterrupted, with the UDP putting its generator into motion. In fact, exuberant supporters start dancing and yapping, saying “this is why Jammeh must go; The Gambia deserves better.”

Mrs. Ajie Yam Secka was addressing the Tanje rally at the time of going to press. She urges President Jammeh to resign for failing the trust and confidence bestowed on him. Mrs. Secka nails the Gambian leader for his style of leadership that breeds fertile grounds for gross violations of human rights. She doubts the attainment of the government’s much-touted Vision 2016, which guarantees food self-sufficiency in The Gambia. “This is worthless to the Gambian people,” Ajie Yam Secka adds.



  1. bravo to udp keep the momentum we need changed

  2. Deyda Hydara

    Well done UDP, the overwhelming patriotic Gambians are with you. The silent masses are with you. The elderly that matters are with you. Keep the communion uninterrupted. The Gambia is ripe for democratic CHANGE come 2016.
    The next line of communication should focus on what a UDP government will do for Gambians without discrimination as all Gambians are taxpayers. All regions deserve development whether they voted for the president or not.
    UDP should identify each regions needs and make promises to address them if elected into office. The national budget, the international partners and institutions would be more inclined in helping a democratically elected president fulfill its promises. Gambians in the diaspora will come back and contribute their quota in a democratic environment and foreign direct investments will flow back into the Gambia.
    These and the electoral reforms should be the center lietmotiv of the UDP campaign trail.
    The whole world knows how bad Jammeh is only 10% of our energies should be devoted to this aspect and 90% devoted to what a UDP government will do for Gambians when voted into office.
    Victory is near and is irreversible.
    Long live the Gambia, GOD help the Gambia.

  3. indeed no ‘centre table politics’ or centre table anything for that matter in any future gambian politics and culture of public administration etc etc etc……

    bravo UDP and bravo to all on the ground. change will come.

    god bless and protect you all allah…

  4. @DH.. “The whole world knows how bad Jammeh is only 10% of our energies should be devoted to this aspect and 90% devoted to what a UDP government will do for Gambians when voted into office.. ”

    Comment…You have highlighted a very significant failing of our political parties, except PDOIS…But no surprises..It’s business as usual..Same old politics and that will not yield any different outcomes, except absence of rampant and systematic abuses…

    • Deyda Hydara

      Lol Bax, the Gambia is not a classroom to be inundated with theories, ideologies and philosophy.
      African politics is a reality of its own and no amount of rhetorics can change it.
      What is important is make sure that developments attains all regions without discrimination. Rule of law applicable to ALL without fear or favor. Merits and equal opportunity should be the guidance in government. Freedom of the press and introduction of private TV channels be observed. The private sector made the engine of economic growth. Two presidential terms limit. Free and fair transparent election.
      If the above objectives are met with any government, the uneducated cares less of what marxisim or capitalism is all about….lol..
      Let PDOIS join the band wagon before they miss out the 3rd republic.

      • Deyda, you are right. I am now energise and ready to follow anybody on the streets. The renewed following the UDP is having can be taken to the streets. Everybody is fade up. Let us now take the next step and go on the streets.

  5. Do not forget the fundraising to enable such an endeavour in a very hostile environment. Just think of the power outage in Tanje as the rally rolled out and other logistical hurdles being erected to stifle the momentum.

  6. Bax, pdois also needs to change their old way of doing business in order to be successful. They needs to do opposition research and focus on bad aspects of Aprc. It is funny that you are making recommendations to UDP but you always assume that you right despite your low numbers. What are you doing to improves your low numbers since you are a party of ideas?

  7. Yankuba Jobe

    Give UDP a chance, they are well determined!

  8. DH…Gambia may not be a classroom but political parties, I mean “real” political parties, must be guided by philosophies and ideologies for them to function as national institutions that can impact the lives of the people…

    A real political party adopts a political philosophy after it has rationally investigated the problems of the country and agreed/identified a system of principles for guidance, towards accomplishing the practical realities it wishes to achieve in government..

    A political ideology, on the other hand, is the ideas and ideals that a political parry adopts, on the basis of the economic and/or political policies that have been formulated after that rational investigation..

    Political parties, if they are to be true institutions of change, must demonstrate that they have a philosophy and an ideology, ready to “hit the road running”, when elected into government..

    As for “Theory”, you must know that there is no concept on the face of this earth, that hasn’t got a “theoritical” and a “practical” aspect..How could you practicalise anything that has not been theorised first..

    You are talking about “equal development” in all regions, but “development funds” don’t drop from the sky…You have to have ideas to generate the funds.. You cannot anchor your hopes on loans and foreign investments alone, because they are.not in your hands..Loans based development is.also not sustainable..

    These are very important issues that should be considered if we.don’t want to end.up with massive disappointments..

    • Deyda Hydara

      Lol Bax, you still sound like a student fired up with theories. I was there and can appreciate your feelings and ideals. However when you enter the arena of real politik the ball game changes to a point that you start wondering if you are not faced with a utopian ideal. There is a well known proverb which says ” no matter how long a piece of wood stays in the water, it will never turn into a crocodile”. Engaging in your battle of theories and perception of best governance system will only divert my attention from the goal in front of us, i.e beat Jammeh in his own game and knock him off the presidency.
      Once we defeat Jammeh, we can then have ample time to debate live on TV on the way forward. Until then my best regards to Halifa Sallah and PDOIS.

  9. Max…PDOIS has the most materials on the APRC misrule and mismanagement than any political party in The Gambia, and they place the government under more constructive scrutiny than any party…

    With regards to improving numbers, what PDOIS can do, in my opinion, is to continue offering an alternative to the APRC..It is up to the people to give it the numbers or not..I think they are very honest about that from day one…That’s why they never make outlandish claims of victory before the ballot is even casted.

  10. Deyda Hydara

    By the way Bax, I have so many economic and financial ideas well thought out and inward looking but helas not yet tested. I hope these can be applied in a UDP government and if done, we can transform the Gambian economy into a vibrant and attractive economy within five years. Remember each country around the world has its own well thought out economic strategy that made it what it is. We have to invent our own.
    Good night.

  11. That’s great DH..I agree that removing Jammeh is a priority and I hope the people wake up and vote him out in.2016..

  12. Lafia Touray la Manju

    I have posted an outline of Udp policies here not long a ago. Bax is simply depressed.


  13. Maxs says…”Bax, pdois also needs to change their old way of doing business in order to be successful.”

    Comment…If you are old enough, you would have known that it is PDOIS that has introduced a “new” way of doing politics in The Gambia..

    It is PDOIS that has departed from the politics of appealing to sentiments and dissatisfaction to win support and votes, to the politics of equipping the voters with the knowledge they require to make informed choices…

    Of course, except for revolutions, change anywhere is a gradual process and can be influenced, either positively or negatively, by a number of factors…

    From my own observations, one such factor was the July 22nd coup…It did not only disrupt the party’s work on the ground, but grossly affected the gains it was making in its work..and was also caught (so to say) between two “evils” by the time the 2nd republic was born.

    One the hand, were the PPP opponents who welcomed the coup but frowned at PDOIS’s refusal to work with the junta. Even those who used to be its sympathisers shifted allegiance to the military because only Jawara was seen as their opponent..

    Jawara’s departure ended oppositionism for those people and presented them with an opportunity to have their own back against the PPP supporters, who used to mock and ridicule them after every election.

    On the.other hand, is the anti-junta group, who rallied mostly, around the main opposition UDP at the dawn of the 2nd republic…

    This group, having formed a party and contested elections under the 1996/97 constitution and lost, decided to vent their anger, frustrations and disappointment against PDOIS, for supporting what they now say, was/is a “military constitution”..(whatever that means)

    Their malicious campaign against PDOIS, often characterised by misinformation and outright falsehood, has never abated to date
    and you will encounter them anytime an item on PDOIS comes on the news.


  14. This UDP tanje video demonstrate they can pull the crowds

  15. Maxs, perhaps a look back into history is in order here to expose the disingenuity and dishonesty of this group..

    We, as a nation, were faced with a situation that required a structured process to move out from..We were in a military dictatorship, where the legislative and administrative functions of the state were exercised by a military council that was not accountable to anyone, but it (the military council) had succumbed to a 2 year transition period, after initially declaring a 4 year transition period..

    I don’t know whether any of those shouting anti-PDOIS slogans today have had anything to say publicly against the 4 year transition, but I remember Foroyaa extensively writing against military dictatorship and self perpetuating rule, and even standing up against obnoxious Decrees..

    Infact, I first read Sankara’s statement about “soldiers without political education being virtual ceimimals” in the pages of Foroyaa during those tense and difficult days in The Gambia..(obviously many want to renarrate that history today to suit them)

    The 2 year transition period and the entry into the 2nd republic cannot come to fruition without a NATIONAL CONSTITUTION…

    Since the military council had suspended the 1st republic constitution (incidentally without so much as a murmur from today’s loud mouths) and were in no mood to reinstate it, the only other realistic option was to support the drafted constitution and campaign for a “yes” vote at the referandum..

    Again, I don’t know whether these PDOIS bashes had openly campaigned for a “No” vote at the referandum, but I certainly remembered Foroyaa campaigning for a “yes” vote..

    Of course, the constitution was not perfect and it seems it has been.tampered with after the referandum, but Foroyaa has always also pointed out that amendments can be done once legislative power is assumed by the people, through the National Assembly…

    So our failure to elect enough reputable and sincere representatives is to blame for the current state of legislation and the watering down of the constitution to suit Yaya Jammeh and his APRC.

    But here’s the questions I’ve always asked but get no reply…If we had rejected the draft constitution in 1996 with a “NO” vote, what then…? I would like someone from the proponents of a “NO” vote to provide a realistic answer to that..

    I have read the views of a dreamer on.one of the online forums, who stated that PDOIS campaigned for a “yes” because they thought they had a chance to win the elections and that if we had rejected the constitution, then.the military would have been forced to go back to barracks…He hasn’t, however, said who was going to force the military back to barracks..May be, one.of them.can still tell us, just for curiosity shake, if for nothing else..

  16. Exactly Lafia, you just posted an outline…That wouldn’t depress anybody…Actually anybody can provide outlines which state policy objectives.. It doesn’t provide answers to the all important “HOW” question..

    For example, if I remeber right, the outlines indicated that the UDP, if elected, will scrap the “bore hole tax” of.D50,000…That is good but what is not explained is this…

    (1) how much revenue does government raise from borehole tax ?
    (2) how does the UDP intend to plug the gap that the scrapping of the borehole tax will leave ?

    If you contrast that to PDOIS, for example, you see a marked difference..Policy outline of PDOIS is to support farmers and small scale businesses…That’s very good but how will that be done…

    PDOIS intends to create coperative bank, amongst other things…Where will the funding come from.? It has identified a potential source of funding where up to D400 million was taken to refurbish a hotel..

    So.we have a an outline and the all important “how” question answered…You may not agree with that economic philosophy but at least, you have it in the first place, to agree or not to agree..

  17. Maxs…Here’s a “big fat lie” from Bax or may be, a “false narrative”, as you call it sometimes…If “old Bax” is still around when the third republic comes into being, then you throw my “big fat lies” into my face, if I am proved wrong…

    Here’s the lie…”There will be NO political freedoms of expression or equal access to public media or open debates in the public space, unless under a PDOIS government.”

    That’s my “big fat lie” and you have on records..

    And here is my reason….”Political parties that shy away from debates whilst in opposition, will often use state machinery to suppress or stifle debate, when in government “..

    They may initially tolerate open criticism of their policies, because of giving the impression that they are different, but will eventually begin to clamp down on opponents…

    Mark these “lies” down somewhere and let’s hope and.pray that we are around when that day comes..

  18. Baboucarr Njie

    The masters of Centre Table politicking or board room politics will not stop it. If you cannot command popular support, you go for where you assume to be influential in, which is the politics of ‘writing’. And the Gambia’s problem now is the removal of President Jammeh and ending the climate of fear.
    Without Jammeh leaving power, no intellectual summersaults will work. And by the way for anyone attempting to assume supremacy over ideas and ideological arguments, the Gambia today is not the Gambia of 1987, or even 1998, it is a country of graduates and scholars…Let jammeh vacate and see what will happen.
    Hence, I am totally agree with Deyda, Lafia and the rest. As an old boy in his 60s, I have read what is to be read on Gambian and global politics. And without ejecting Jammeh, no fanciful or fantastic ideas will matter. Without a political space free from violence and fear, only those who can shut down their conscience will bother Gambians with their day dreams. Let the opposition call for an out and out protest, we will all join in. The UDP’s approach is creating a feel for real change.

  19. BTW, did you see Mai Fatty’s attempts to dampen high spirits, by claiming that Jammeh will win in 2016, even before the first ballot was cast..

    And yet, an eery silence on the Gambian online fora and media..Absolutely deafening silence…

    Imagine the uproar if that had come from Halifa and PDOIS, at a time when the UDP is in high spirits and touring the country with.encouraging reception and turnouts.

    Do you see why I stated that there is a massive bias against PDOIS, especially in the diaspora..? Obviously, you can’t because prejudices die hard..

    • Thank you Bax, I am in touch with news back home. The supporters of UDP in Kairo are pretending that only UDP is working to win support. They did not know that PDOIS had already covered the whole country when the UDP was silent. The PDOIS has it’s programmes and strategy which is working in it’s favour. PDOIS had told all parties to go ahead and work and engage the people so that the support base of the APRC could be eroded. The PDOIS is happy that the UDP is doing just that. UDP’s problem should not be PDOIS this PDOIS that, they should instead be happy that PDOIS had done a lot of work and will continue to do so in the coming months to erode the base of the APRC.PDOIS is not in the defensive anymore but in the offence. The feeling is all around the country.It will become clear whether telling the people what they already know and not offering any solutions is sufficient enough to give UDP a win or not. Deyda has some good ideas of how to change the economic situation around but is waiting until UDP wins. People, did you believe him? Will you give your vote to someone who simply says he has good intentions but is refusing to explain them? I don’t think any intelligent voter would do that. But who knows, Gambia is different!!
      Thank you Bax for all this work, its paying dividend.

  20. Same old.excuses again.. We have heard it all before, haven’t we ?

    In the first republic, there was no repression and rampant arrests but debate was dismissed on flimsy excuses…Today, Jammeh provides a perfect excuse…When Jammeh goes, another excuse will be found..You can.bet your life on.that…

  21. Gambia is like a corporate building housing a company with thousands of workers..

    The management claims to have an emergency fire plan but is too preoccupied with other issues to even let the workers know about the plan…

    You can imagine what will happen.when fire breaks out: Absolute chaos..

  22. An encouraging move by UDP. Really impressive. This is what we want to see from the opposition. If you have anything to say, go out and meet Gambians. Let the discussion involve Gambians not at high tables. The average Gambian can’t read newspapers or write. I like the rally speeches. More should be organised. UDP will get MY dollar if they continue doing this. I watched JammEh’s sorry ars last night
    The guys looks terrible.

  23. I join Njie to say that the climate at hand leaves no room for intellectual reminiscence of what could be or possible. Hence that environment must be restored first.
    No grudge meant to pdois but the bandwagon has to roll out now and engage the laymen on the street.

  24. Bax , I think you are making speculation that “there will be no political freedom of expression , access to public media or open debate in public space unless under a pdois administration “.
    The above quotation is simply assumption or speculation on your part . Right now UDP is engage in open debate by challenging the Dictator and his dictatorial regime about their corruption , mismanagement and human rights violations. I think you need to move beyond classroom political mindset and understand real world politics . Democracy in anywhere is about the majority , therefore pdois and other parties needs to work hard to get that majority . Remember , we are in 21th century ,we have more educated Gambians now than before , therefore to indicate that UDP will not allow other parties access to public media , no open debate or no political freedom under UDP administration is negative propaganda . Gambian people have now learned their lesson from past government and current regime , it is my firm belief that no government will rule Gambia for two decades after the collapse of current military dictatorship . The world has change , so does international politics . Pdois guys are no longer consider as only intellectual political heavy weights in the country as in past . Get over that mindset and also realize that historical mistake of military dictatorship will not be allowed .

  25. Lafia Touray la Manju

    Bax, Halifa cannot summarise. So I am not surprise that an outline is not good enough for you. That has nothing to do with the outline, which is succinctly put, but your indoctrination.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *