My observations above aren’t meant to vilify Mr. Darboe’s good character, nor was I out to doubt his competency to steer the affairs of the party and the hopes of many to see change come to the country.
Nevertheless, it belongs to mature political culture, to debate such issues as the question of the flagbearer of the UDP for the incoming election. This issue is the singular most significant relevance concerning people near and far. So it is only right that we raise it in a timely manner.
What are the arguments to wait with selecting a flagbearer?
– First exhaust efforts to lift the age limit: I think the time line is too short and may only happen at the mercy of the person we want to dislodge from power. Such a favour is unworthy to accept more so because it will lay bare the one-person dependency of the party.
– Alliance or coalition talks being impeded: in the contrary, I think bringing certainty as to who will lead the UDP to the polls, can be an impetus for the other parties to put their houses in order and create a momentum for compromise. Beside that, UDP has a claim to lead such a coalition and can only lead by having a settled flagbearer, who is then a candidate to lead such an alliance. If coalition talks should fail, the party is left with a unanimous flagbearer. Going into any coalition talks without own candidate, is in my view, negligence.
– Flagbearer maybe a target of smear and undermined.
Yes this danger is imminent but it is expected. Mr. Darboe himself went through many sacrifices. The answer to that fear is: UDP must select someone who is capable, ready for trials of leadership, no criminal records, trustworthy and loyal to the party. If such a person is selected, I don’t see any force capable of disrupting the legitimate aspirations by the people, visible everywhere to bring about change.
Lastly, I want to add that my concern about the party being plunged into “disrepute” and “acrimony ” is an input I recently listened to being uttered by a layman with barely any formal education. He told the gathering that we might be heading towards another Jarra Mansakonko macule, when Jawara haphazardly offered to resign.
I think we should not repeat that infamous theater of our history. We all have stake and no malaise is meant to Mr. Darboe and his able top echelons of the party