The opposition People’s Democratic Organisation for Independence and Socialism has raised concerned about the constitutionality of the Electoral Act. In a letter to President Yahya Jammeh, the party’s Secretary General is argued that the Bill was introduced by a wrong person (Head of the Civil Service who cannot be a Minister or member of Cabinet) ad that it departed from established constitutional procedures. Read below Halifa Sallah’s arguments about why the Electoral Bill, signed into law by President Jammeh in June 2015, should be returned to the National Assembly Bill was introduced by the wrong person.
15 July 2015
THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE GAMBIA
SUBJECT: THE CONSTITUTIONALITY OF THE MOTION ON THE ELECTIONS (AMENDMENT) BILL 2015 INTRODUCED BY THE HEAD OF THE CIVIL SERVICE
The dictates of National duty, as a major stakeholder in the political process and your role in the process of promulgating a law, has compelled us to address this memorandum to you.
We have two fundamental observations to raise, touching on both technicality and substance regarding the constitutionality of passing the Elections (Amendment) Bill 2015. The advice of constitutional experts should be earnestly sought to look into the constitutionality of the motion moved by Mr Nyabally.
In short, The Elections (Amendment) Bill 2015 is reported to have been passed. The Bill was introduced by the Head of the Civil Service. The same person is referred to as Minister for Presidential Affairs. The role of Head of the Civil Service and that of a Minister are unconnected with, isolated from and independent of each other. In short, they are incompatible.
Section 168 subsection (1) of the Constitution is quite clear. It states:
“The President, acting in accordance with the advice of the Public Service Commission, shall appoint a person holding an office in the public service on permanent terms to be the Head of the Civil Service. The Head of the Civil Service shall be the competent authority for the Civil Service.”
Hence, a Head of the Civil Service must be a person holding an office in the public service on permanent terms. No honest analyst could fail to acknowledge this fact. A whole government with paid advisers should not wallow in the dark.
Why is the position of Minister and Head of the Civil service incompatible? The answer is simple.
Section 166 Subsection (4) provides the answer:
“In this Constitution, an office in the public service does not include –
(a) the offices of President, Vice-President, Speaker or Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, Minister or a member of the National Assembly;
(b) the offices of a member of any commission (other than a commission the members of which are hereby or by an Act of National Assembly declared to hold an office in the public service), or a member of the Advisory Committee on the exercise of the Prerogative of Mercy or the Advisory Committee on the conferment of honours.”
Hence a Head of the Civil Service cannot be a member of the National Assembly or a Minister without vacating one’s post.
In fact, Section 170 Subsections (1) and (2) of the Constitution adds:
“(1) A person holding an office in a public service shall not hold office in any political party.
(2) Any person who holds an office in a public service who wishes to contest an election for a political office shall, prior to nomination as a candidate, obtain one year’s leave of absence without pay, which leave shall not unreasonably be refused.”
There are clear lines of demarcation between functions of Head of the Civil service, National Assembly member and Minister.
Section 101 Subsection (1) states that,
“Subject to the provisions of this section, a Bill or motion may be introduced in the National Assembly by a member of the Cabinet or by a member of the National Assembly, and the National Assembly shall give consideration to Bills and motions so introduced.”
Since the Head of the Civil Service cannot be a Minister or member of Cabinet the Bill was introduced by the wrong person. In this respect it should be returned to the National Assembly and not enacted into law.
This is the first technicality. Allow us to move on to the second.
The Central Committee of PDOIS has received and did deliberate on the report that the Bill which was introduced into the National Assembly was different, in content, from the Bill which was published in the Gazette on 1st June 2015.
This would be in violation of Section 101 Subsection (3) of the Constitution. It reads:
“No Bill, other than a Bill referred to in subsection (5), shall be introduced into the National Assembly unless it has been published in the Gazette, and such publication has been made at least fourteen days before the date of its introduction:
“Provided that where the President certifies that the enactment of the Bill is required in the public interest as a matter of urgency, the Bill may be introduced notwithstanding it has not been published fourteen days beforehand, but the Speaker shall, on the introduction of the Bill, cause a vote to be taken in the National Assembly without debate on a motion to give consideration to the Bill notwithstanding that the said period of fourteen days has not expired.”
A Bill containing pen marks, reducing deposits, was never published in the Gazette before introduction into the National Assembly and was not introduced under a certificate of urgency.
Hence, the introduction of the Bill departed from established constitutional procedures. In this regard, it should not be enacted into law.
Law, Common Sense, National Interest and conscience all combine to indicate that the Bill is unsuitable for our times and circumstances and should be returned to the National Assembly. The most appropriate decision is to utilise the proposals from the opposition as the basis of building consensus on genuine electoral reform which would stand the test of time. We hope, after 20 years at the helm your government will not hinder the exercise of franchise by the sovereign Gambian people to make their right to self determination, which include the right to determine their manner of government without any obstacles, a reality.
Yours In the Service of the People
CC Chairman, IEC
Attorney General and Minister of Justice
Speaker, National Assembly
I think once again this letter is pointless and it underscore lack of understanding or refusal to accept the true nature of Dictator jammeh . Arguing about who presented the bill whether it is wrong Person or not , is the least important thing mr sallah should engaged in. The whole bill itself is the problem because it is not in the best interest of Gambians and it violate the spirit of democracy and Gambian’s constitution. Arguing about constitutional procedures is truly misplaced .
Mr sallah went on to state that ” we hope , after 20 years at the helm , your government will not hinder the exercise of franchise by the sovereign Gambian people to make their right to self determination , which include the right to determine their manner of government without any obstacles , a reality “.
Really mr sallah , so in the past 20 years , it means there was no obstacle to dertermine the manner of our government . Or did you forget about various obstacles which hinder opposition’s performance and these includes lack of access to public media, use of state resources by the dictator , intimidation and harassment by security forces , registration of foreign national to vote for APRC , lack of freedom of press etc etc . Why do you called for electoral reform or leveling playing field if you hope Dictator jammeh will not hinder the exercise of franchise by soveriegn Gambian people to determine the manner of their government . Don’t you understand that the rights of sovereign people has been hindered and violated long time ago .Mr sallah need to change strategy . Lawyer Darboe has changed Strategy and I think if he has right partners who speak the same language like he does since last year , we will see change in the Gambia in 2016. This type of language does not help the Gambian people but it simply demonstrate weakness and lack of political will to confront the real issues . While I continue to respect his efforts , I think such letters give legitimacy to the regime .
Max…You have betrayed your pettiness by picking out a simple expression of hope as an issue for your unfair criticism of Mr Sallah…How could you even remotely conceive the idea that the expression of such a hope somehow shows an unawareness of obstacles during the past 20 years.? Is there any politician in The Gambia who is more aware of the “obstacles” that the Jammeh regime places in the path of citizens’ desire to free and democratic political expression, than Mr Sallah.? Isn’t this very bill that is being discussed an obstacle.? Come on man, you got to rise up from this pettiness…
Also Max, it is one thing to disagree with someone, but it is quite another thing to tell an entire political party that what they are engaged in, is the “least important thing”…I think you got to show a bit of respect to the PDOIS for the way they engage their opponents and conduct their politics…You don’t have to agree, but show respect to the party’s inalienable right to choose how they conduct their affairs..
Once again, PDOIS has, in my humble view, fulfilled one of its fundamental roles as an opposition political party, which is to expose maladministration in government and to point out the right way, and there is nothing more important in our country today, than the unconstitutional behaviour of the APRC Administration…
Infact, disregard for the constitution, which I referred to as “unconstitutional behaviour of the APRC Administration”, is without doubt, at the heart of Gambia’s endless political, economic and administrative problems..
PDOIS’ politics of enlightenment and respect for opponents, in an environment where the culture of inducement and politics of sentiments and emotions is accepted as normal, is the reason many people struggle to understand the party and accept its revolutionary approach to politics in The Gambia…
This is rather unfortunate because such a political approach, that is not only devoid of personality politics but adopts voter education and enlightenment as its central theme, should be celebrated and encouraged at the least…
Bax , I think you need to study the factors which contribute to military dictatorship . I think my criticism is fair one , why he failed to acknowledge various obstacles which hinder opposition’s performance .
I have always expressed my respect for mr sallah’s efforts even when I disagree with his approach . So I think it is unfair if you don’t acknowledge that. I think it is fair to say that arguing about constitutional procedures with regard to this bill is the least important thing they should have engaged in . How about if Jammeh formulate the same bill and chose the right person to introduce the bill for the second time to the National Assembly ? In such scenario mr sallah’s argument about constitutional procedures becomes pointless while he deviate from the discussion of the most important thing , that is the content of the bill . The content of the bill is problematic and I think that should have been the key concern but it is rather unfortunate that he is fighting the least important thing . In this case he took his eyes off the ball . He simply needs to change strategy . I respect and admire his efforts in many instances but sometimes he truly deviate from important discussion . If you call my criticism ” my pettiness ” , I am not sure what you mean about that my friend . I hope you get my points .
@Max…”The content of the bill is problematic and I think that should have been the key concern but it is rather unfortunate that he is fighting the least important thing …”
PDOIS had already dealt with the content of the elections amendment bill in detail…It has shown how the bill is at variance with the law, with democracy and with common sense..So you need to acknowledge that first,.unless if you are unaware of it..
This particular letter, if you noticed, was dated 15 July 2015 and has the same ref no. as the one published by Kaironews around that time..And that was the period when the elections amendment bill was the agenda in the public space….
So, failure to follow constitutional procedure, in relation to introducing the bill, as indeed any bill, was very much an important part of exposing the unconstitutional nature of the bill, as well as, maladministration in public office…
The interesting question though, is why the need to republish this communication now, without any indication of this fact, which may leave many to think that it is a recent communication from PDOIS…and thus believe that it is a misplaced priority…
Marx I quite agree with your observations about Halifa’s letter, they are spot on.
Bax should learn to become less personal when one talks about Halifa or PDOIS. Halifa is not a perfect human being and is bound to make mistakes. Pointing out his mistakes does not translate to disrespect specially when one is a partner in a common fIght.
Cool down Bax, the behavior of blind support is not constructive, some UPD militants also behave the same way but as for Marx in all honesty is not a blind supporter.
I follow both of you very closely and admire your criticism in general.
The struggle continues.
Thank You for your intervention…Trust me, I am not a blind supporter of anyone and I know that no human being is infallible, but we got to be fair in our criticism of those we disagree with…
Mr Sallah has been dealing with Yaya Jammeh’s madness for over twenty years…How could anyone question his awareness of obstacles Jammeh’s administration places in people’s paths, because of a simple expression of hope..? Come on…let’s call a spade, a spade…!
Also, an expression of disagreement with the way any party conducts its politics is essential in a democracy, but there are boundaries to be respected…Telling Mr Sallah what important things he should be engaged in, is not only disrespectful to him, but to the entire PDOIS party, as he is writing on their behalf…and being disrespectful to one another is not part of democracy…
Brother Deyda, I should be free to express my dislike of red jeans to you, if you decide to buy one, but I am not free to tell you that you don’t know where to put your hard earned money,or how to spend it, just because I don’t like what you bought with it..That is disrespectful…And that’s my point…
PDOIS decided to approach the elections amendment bill in their own way, just like any other party…We can express disagreements with their approach, but we shouldn’t tell them or any party, the most or least important things they should be engaged in…After all, what is important or not is subjective and left to individual consideration…
Thank you Bax for all your trials to put records straight. The PDOIS has written lengthily on the unconstitutionality of the Bill in question. But nonetheless it has been passed by the National Assembly. The PDOIS is making further observations on the unconstitutionality in introducing the Bill exposing the lack of seriousness or understanding of the procedure during the N/Assembly deliberations.
” Hence, the introduction of the Bill departed from established constitutional procedures. In this regard, it should not be enacted into law.” All these is adding up to the argument that the Bill should be disregarded or should not be enacted. Is Max saying it is useless to expose and inform the people that the way Bills are introduced is at variance with the constitution?
As a PDOIS supporter, I thank the Kaironews for publishing this letter at this time despite the fact that it was dated 15 July 2015.That is how they prefer to do it.
Max said: “Mr sallah need to change strategy . Lawyer Darboe has changed Strategy”. I wonder what that strategy is and what changes it has brought. What i know is that PDOIS’ strategy is to engage the people so as to enlighten, organize and mobilise them for change while it continues to expose, restrain and contain the exegesis of the APRC government. Can Max tell us what the new strategy of Lawyer Darboe or the UDP is right now that is different from PDOIS’?
Thank you Hydara for your compliment. I know Bax now, I will not take anything personal about anything he said because he is my number one debater here lol.
Bax , you are very right about the date the letter was written, it is not a new letter but I still believe that argument on constitutional procedures will make no difference to Jammeh and it is least important in this fight. Everything Yaya Asombi Jammeh do in The Gambia is a violation of the constitution and APRC is supporting him. I think it is even better to challenge the bill in courts than to write this type of letter. Jammeh will be laughing when he recieve this letter because he has recieved hundreds of this type of letters since 1994. Mr sallah should simply quit letter writing. In USA, thousands of Americans write letters to president Obama and they called him an idiot or whatever they want to say but he still read those letters, he let the public know about them. Mr Sallah’s letters either legitimise the dictatorship or they are seen as irrelevant by Jammeh.
Yero Ba, I know you will respond to this post despite your long absence lol. Anyway, UDP’s change of strategy is there for everyone to see. All I can tell you is that you can’t do the Same thing over and over again and expect to have different results. This is why PDOIS or any party in The Gambia can’t make any meaningful progress. UDP has turned a new page in their political strategy and I am confident that if they have right partnership who speaks the same language like they currently do, we will see significant changes. Politics is a dynamic process and one has to evolve with time and come up with new ideas. If PDOIS has been writing soft ball letters for the past 30 years, I think it’s past time to change that strategy. Do you know that sometimes individual political party contribute to legitimacy of dictatorship through political process? The simply truth is that since Mr. Sallah hope that Dictator Jammeh’s government “will not hinder the exercise of franchise by sovereign Gambian people to make their right to self determination which include the right to determine their manner of government without any obstacles, a reality”, speak volume of his thinking and PDOIS thinking process.
This is the statement I find very disturbing and I am not sure whether it was slip of the tongue, total disregard to obstacles Gambians are facing or Their mode of operandi to legitimize the military dictatorship. Mr Sallah or any of his supporter are given the benefits of doubt to clarify this statement. I am sure Bax has attempted to give answers but he is a blind supporter who takes my criticisms personally.
“This is why PDOIS or any party in The Gambia can’t make any meaningful progress. UDP has turned a new page in their political strategy and I am confident that if they have right partnership who speaks the same language like they currently do, we will see significant changes,” said Max.
I am sorry but you have not answered my question. My question is, what is UDP’s new strategy that you will want PDOIS to implement? Now you are talking about a new page turned by the UDP, WHAT IS THAT NEW PAGE?
Let me tell you that I am in contact with those who are on the ground and I can assure you that UDP has not turned any new page nor has it developed any new language which PDOIS should partner with. PDOIS and UDP do not share the same constituency and therefore cannot share the same message. This should be clear to you from now. We should encourage all the parties to speak the language they believe will win supporters and continue their strategies the believe will give them the ultimate or desired impact. Bax is right, you cannot impose your strategy on a party you do not belong to or share the same approach. If UDP’s new language or approach can bring improvement, even if it does not partner with PDOIS, it will certainly bring improvement. My information on the ground is that no such improvement is coming from the UDP side. So do not fool yourself. The only party that is making gains is the PDOIS, they are winning supporters everyday whether you want to acknowledge it or not. As a member of PDOIS I will urge my party to intensify their messaging and keep to their strategy focusing on their programme in a systematic and calculated way without any wavering whatsoever.
You said I have been dormant, you are right I am but not because of lack of interest but rather focusing on activities to help my party to grow from strength to strength and I am glad that it is paying dividend.
Bax, I have every right to question Mr. Sallah’s priority or PDOIS priority in dealing with issues, that is not disrespectful. Citizens make their choice based on Priority. I am sure Bax you are aware that even Jammeh’s strongest supporters are aware of obstacles and will acknowledge them in their private moment. Waa Juwura and many politicians who joined APRC are all aware of these obstacles but still joined the devil club. We have to develop a habit of asking question to find answers to our concern.
Recently, if you are following the presidential campaign in USA, you will be surprised to notice that Donald Trump is leading the republican candidates simply because of priorities of republican primary voters regarding immigration and other issues which is not the general view of majority Americans at the moment. He has surprised everybody including Republican Party establishment. So don’t tell me Priorities don’t matter and why should I blindly support or agree with everything Mr. Sallah say. If Mr. Sallah is in an advance democracy, he will be forced to clarify his statement regarding the obstacles he didn’t mention in his letter but in The Gambia such statements are not even looked into by the people. It is the same way Dictator Jammeh’s statements of lies are not taken seriously or looked into by his supporters.
You have dodged the questions Yero Ba asked you about the UDP’s change of strategy and the results achieved so far..? Come back and give us more on that please…
So UDP’s change of strayegy is only manifest in their language, eh..? The type of language they speak is what you consider a PRIORITY that everyone should speak, right..? Forget about maladministration and alternative policies that can achieve real, meaningful changes, because I suppose, that is pointless and the least important in our discourse….
Well, I respect that it is your right to agree with this “new” UDP “strategy”, but don’t make the mistake of setting that as the criteria or yardstick to judge everyone else, because that will not be an impartial approach….And you present yourself as an impartial observer…
I don”t know much about America, but I suspect Donald Trump is succeeding because he, like the many so called, “Far Right Politicians” of the West and East, a mixture of racists and white supremacist idealists, is appealing to that dark subconscious of “White” America, which has remained dormant since the advent of the post WWII era, but which is being gradually awakened and aroused by these haters, with the connivance of the homophobic media (also nicely labelled as “right wing media”)..
Their message of hate, shrouded in one form of concern or the other, unfortunately, is finding accord with many, due to the global political and economic realities and dynamics in play today, and their negative impact on the lives of ordinary people around the world, especially in the affluent West and deprived East, where daily living is increasingly becoming a challenge for many, thus the need to find someone to blame, and who better than “the other guys”..
Somehow, the fantastic stories of the emergence of the new Hitler in Putin, the dangerous Mullahs in Iran, looking for a nuclear bomb to annihilate everyone including themselves, the immigrant invasion to take jobs and scrounge the social welfare systems, the barbaric Muslims determined to destroy “our ways of life”, (etc) is drummed into the subconciousness of the people so much so that it is believe enmasse, as the real threats that must be addressed… So they look for a “saviour” to put in White House (in the case of America) and Mr Donald Trump is a class apart from the rest in this game for the White House…
Meanwhile, the real issues at the heart of human suffering : corporate greed; excessive pursuit of capitalist profit, leading to destruction of state welfare systems for protection of the less fortunate, as well as, the environment; amassing of wealth in the hands of a few and the race to the rop of the most Billions amassed club; the erosion of fundamental rights; the jungle rule of “might is right”, (etc) all get swept under the carpet and overlooked by the many…
Jawara told us that PDOIS are communists. Their ideology means no ownership not even to your wives. That was what Jawara said at a campaign meeting in Bureng. Jarrankas took that very seriously as we all know the story of Jarra men and their wives.
We all know PDOIS will never win a presidential seat in the Gambia even in the next coming. No matter how much eloquent they may become.
Why are we still making them relevant in the country’s discourse. I wonder.
I will support someone who will create jobs for our people. We all know who is doing that.
Yero Ba said ” the only party that is making gains is PDOIS . They are winning supporters whether you want to acknowledge it or not “. Lol I can’t stop laughing yero , indeed this is the most outlandish claim , it is like Jammeh’s claims of having cure for HIV / AIDS or all kind of diseases . Please stop listening to your so called sources because they are deceiving you .
UDP new strategies of continuous grassroots campaign and their confrontational approach as well as honesty in telling the truth to the Dictator as it is , makes them gaining more support from The Gambia and diaspora . Today UDP is the only party which majority Gambians believe has the chance to defeat Jammeh in a free and fair election .
Bax , communication or language matters a lot in politics . Don’t underestimate the power of language . UDP’s language is the best communication strategy to achieve any political gain .
” Anyway, UDP’s change of strategy is there for everyone to see. All I can tell you is that you can’t do the Same thing over and over again and expect to have different results. This is why PDOIS or any party in The Gambia can’t make any meaningful progress. UDP has turned a new page in their political strategy and I am confident that if they have right partnership who speaks the same language like they currently do, we will see significant changes. Politics is a dynamic process and one has to evolve with time and come up with new ideas. If PDOIS has been writing soft ball letters for the past 30 years, I think it’s past time to change that strategy. Do you know that sometimes individual political party contribute to legitimacy of dictatorship through political process? The simply truth is that since Mr. Sallah hope that Dictator Jammeh’s government “will not hinder the exercise of franchise by sovereign Gambian people to make their right to self determination which include the right to determine their manner of government without any obstacles, a reality”, speak volume of his thinking and PDOIS thinking process.”
Max, one thing you have to bear in mind, and Halifa has succinctly pointed it out, is that when PDOIS or Halifa make public pronouncements or write letters they are not necessarily doing so for the sole attention of those to whom such are addressed.
The purpose of making public pronouncements on matters of policy goes far beyond just addressing an issue to the government. And as Halifa has pointed out such statements or letters address the broader issues of impunity, violation, disrespect, incompetence and neglect. They serve more as a vehicle to educate, to inform and to motivate the Gambian people to take greater charge of their country and destiny.
What you have failed to realize, is that whatever PDOIS does to a greater extend, is very much consistent with the mission and vision that has been fundamental to the creation of PDOIS as a political party, in the first place.
So be rest assured that whatever PDOIS does is well thought out, is well informed, and is guarded and guided with the sole purpose of serving the interest and concerns of the Gambian people.
You talk about political parties making any meaningful progress. I don’t know what is your yardstick for meaningful progress, but as far as I know PDOIS has been pivotal in addressing the needs and aspirations of the Gambian people. They have been very conversant with the political issues that set the agenda and discourse to reclaim our sovereignty. They know what they are doing and they are doing it to the best of their capabilities and abilities.
Politics is a dynamic process, true, and PDOIS has over the years guided this evolutionary process; try to reconcile its inherent contradictions and has clearly mapped out a way forward. It is our hope that the way forward that PDOIS has so eloquently articulated should form the basis of our arguments and debates.
We will derive much value arguing and debating PDOIS’s agenda for coalition and the way forward than responding to accusations of legitimizing a political dictatorship. Moreover, Halifa has stated in no uncertain terms that “Dictator” may be a term that can be useful in your struggle, and that is the reason why you used the word so profusely in your write-ups.
But as statesmen and politicians who are committed to providing an alternative government to the Gambian people, PDOIS will not reduced itself to such parlance and its diatribe. When it addresses the Gambian government, PDOIS is also speaking with the Gambian people and the international community. Their language and method of communication therefore should bear this responsibility.
There are thousand and one ways to engage in a struggle. PDOIS’s manner of struggle may be disagreeable to you, but PDOIS harbors no prejudice and malice in the way and manner in which it prosecutes its struggle. It is all done in good faith and in the interest of the nation and the Gambian people.
Max, why has UDP then been consistently declining in their total votes from inception in 1996? From 36% in 1996 to 17% in 2011 despite all the alliances they had.
Why they are the only party with the highest number of senior officials jailed? From Waa, Late Shyngle, Femi and Amadou?
Ousainou is over the age limit. Why is the party not saying anything about his succession?
I never heard u saying anything about those issues. Or are they as trivial to u as you say the lack of procedures were in the electoral law which makes that law null and void??
You have asked why the PDOIS is not challenging the law in court. We as a party don’t see the need to waste our time and resources on initiating a legal process for a law that is constitutionally and procedurally bad. We better focus on the electorates as we await the day this bad law will come to effect when we will throw it in the garbage where it belongs.
This is our decision not yours unfortunately Max. I hope u understand that.
Max, PDOIS had since early 2015 expressed its position on a coalition but ur party has until this moment not said anything about that most fundamental issue.
As a fair minded critic, you should have at least once ask that of your party as u as consistent in bringing down everything from PDOIS.
Won’t that be a bit fair too?
There is difference between a letter (open letter) and a press release. Halifa’s open letters are always address to individuals and copies are send to various people he want Them to know his concern and the same time they are publish in media. Such letters demand rethinking of decision or they act as an appeal to change the decision already made or about to be made. This is why all his letters are softball, with a language of appeal. To be fair to him, such letters also state his position or PDOIS position as well as to educate the public about the violation of the constitution on the issue. Example in above letter, the last paragraph was based on an appeal to change decision which is why he hope DIctator Jammeh’s government “will not hinder the exercise of franchise by sovereign Gambian people to make their right to self determination which include the right to determine their manner of government without any obstacles, a reality “.
It stated his position regarding his thinking process on various obstacles as well as constitutional procedures. Though there are already a million obstacles to opposition performance but he still hope that Dictator Jammeh’s government will not hinder exercise of franchise of sovereign Gambian people. What do you think of such statement? Is it an acknowledgement of obstacles or simply passing off obstacles?
A press release is statement of position of political party regarding the issue of concern and it is send to the media which will release the statement for public consumption. Such press release demonstrate support or condemnation of a policy undertaken by the regime. Example in all UDP’s press releases, they categorically condemn Jammeh’s behaviors, his policies, conduct and criticise him, they also provide alternative about what they will do when they are in power. Looking at this letter above, do we have that? No we don’t. This letter type of letters may also be send by advocacy groups which appeal to government to rethink about its decision.
While there is differences between the two in terms of language and content, it does indicate that press release has more clarity because it show condemnation and offer alternative but open letter educate the public which is why Mr. Sallah run his party as civic organization. Such organizations leave the decision for the public and I think this again demonstrate their political philosophy. In this difficult time, Gambian people need politicians who would inspire them to fight for political change but we do not need a leader who would sit and give lecture and the same time leave the decision for us to lead. Any political and emancipation struggle, leadership has to lead, motivate and inspire the population. You can write thousand letters but if you refuse to lead and leave the decision to the population, you can’t call yourself a leader. A leader needs to inspire people and have a vision to bring about desire change. This is why I call on PDOIS to change strategy because people do not see them as leaders. for the past 30 years, they do not have any significant support base which they inspire, motivate and lead to bring about desire change. I hope this criticism will be used as self evaluation for the party to change strategy. PDOIS has some great ideas which if they change strategy can be tremendous help for the development of the party and it can significantly enhance the democratization process in The Gambia.
Gambia , first of all , I am an independent citizen without any party affiliation . But I can give you an independent thinking regarding your question . I think it is fair to say that UDP is the number one target of military dictatorship in our country and they have paid heavy price for it because of they stand for the truth , not playing nice and they confront the regime on so many levels . UDP is well diverse and they truly represented the diversity of Gambian people not only in terms of tribe but level of education . This is why the victims comes from all part of the population including Jammeh’s tribe members ( late mr Nyassi and many ) .
I do not believe that UDP support is Declining rather the election are never fair in The Gambia . Gambia , if you believe that it is complete waste of time to challenge the bill’s constitutionality in courts because the bill is constitutionally bad as well as its procedures , then why your party is arguing about the unconstitutionality of the bill and it’s procedures? Do you see your contradiction with mr sallah or your party ? You have again put your foot in your mouth with such thinking . How can you throw the law into garbage when it is already signed by the president ? Please don’t speak like Malang . I suspect your fellow disciples won’t like your comment lol.
I think it is fair to say that UDP should come up with new leadership for this coming election . The earlier is done , the better prepare for the party and Gambian people would know the flag bearer . If they wait for next six months without any announcement , it is will be betrayal and lack of political will on the party to effect change . In that case I will consider them as another pretenders .
@Max…”I do not believe that UDP support is Declining rather the election are never fair in The Gambia .”
Please stop pretending to be an “independent” observer, because such statements expose your true position….
You have always pointed to PDOIS’ share of votes in elections as a reflection of the party’s support …You have never shown any indication that this is due to UNFAIR ELECTIONS, yet you quite readily argue that UDP’s declining support base, if we use your own yardstick, is due to unfair elections…
Is PDOIS’ share of votes, which you use to measure their support base, gained from different elections..?
Why do consider UDP’s declining votes as not representative of their support, but you are absolutely sure that PDOIS’ share is a true reflection of their support, even though both parties contest under the same unfair election system..?
And you call this sort of observation “independent” ?
Max you have not answered any of my questions. Not even 1.
Pls refer back to my post and answer them. Then we can proceed to your next issues.
Or you want to resort back to your usual diversion and deviation tactics as you always do when you are confronted.
This time stick in and answer pls.
I am waiting.
Gambia , pease go back to my post and read . I have answered your questions regarding UDP declined in performance since 1996, why UDP has the most victims in jail , and issue of flag bearer because Darboe is disqualify .
If you are fair minded , you will agree that I never deviate and divert from any topic or question . In fact some people have indicated that “I write too much , I am a loud mouth , I pretend to be an expert on anything ” which I am not . I think you are not satisfy with my answers .
If you notice I am among the people who exhaust most topic in this forum , i don’t see your contribution as confrontation because you contradict what mr sallah stated.,
Max good luck with the PDOIS militants. The party revolves around the ego of one man. Like I said so many times it is the 3 percent party that time left behind.
Halifa will never change strategy, join any union unless it is under his terms. The party is stock in their 80s mentality.
Halifa was part of NADD and NADD was a collective effort….Halifa has NEVER stated that he will not be party to any union unless it is under his or PDOIS leadership…Show where he made any such claims if you are truthful…
Only two parties have taken that position : UDP and NRP…May be you have a short memory, so a quick visit to memory lane is needed here..
Mr Malamin fatty , you are very right about PDOIS militants and the party revolve around one person only . I have realize the same thing here because they will only talk about mr sallah who is not known in every part of the country despite being in politics for 30 years or more .
Bax , the unfair political environment affects every opposition party . Even in such conditions , UDP is the most affected because it is the largest opposition party with significant support across the country . Jammeh has never seen PDOIS has any significant threat to his presidency . So you can’t compare the two opposition parties . PDOIS engage in “paper politics ” which means their presence is felt by small group of elite-educated Gambians whose belief in soviet era politics. They sound very good in their talking points with Fellow educated Gambians but they have dogmatic approach to politics in the 21st century., they needs to change strategy Bax , to be effective .
“some UPD militants also behave the same way but as for Marx in all honesty is not a blind supporter,” said Deyda.
Maxs: I would have given some respect to you if you had come clean and said you are indeed a UDP supporter rather than trying to hide behind ‘independent analyst’ status. Believe me if UDP is making progress it is not difficult for observers to see. I know you are trying very hard to divert attention from your UDP but they are in the spot light. Talking about Soviet Union and all that is meant to divert attention. PDOIS has written a long time ago predicting the downfall of the Soviet union long before it was done. So forget about the Cold war now. Even the US has forgotten it., its no more fashionable. The fact that Sanders is proclaiming himself as a Socialist and being tolerated by the people in the US shows that the ideological divide is dwindling. People are looking for what is workable in their countries and are making sure the old divides do not hinder their analysis.
You are always concentrating on Halifa this, Halifa that. The fact that UDP appears to have a big problem selecting another flagbearer goes to nakedly show how ‘One Man Show’ the UDP is. As I said I don’t want to fall into your trap of pitting PDOIS against the UDP because I believe that even if UDP is an opponent of PDOIS, they are still partners in the opposition, whether we like it or not. That’s why I told you earlier that: “We should encourage all the parties to speak the language they believe will win them supporters and continue their strategies they believe will give them the ultimate or desired impact.” Eventually collaboration on a single platform or not we are out to remove the status quo for something better.
I think your party has serious issues to tackle right now and if I were you I would put all my energy and skill and knowledge to help in tackling such urgent crisis.
When two business entities merge to create a bigger better business common sense dictates that the largest company leads but common sense is not common to PDOIS. This mining mining tafal tafal is not going to lead to any changes. PDOIS is the smallest party period.
Rather than sacrifice for the good of the country they rather kill us with these nonsensical press releases like they live on mass.
Earth to PDOIS, do you hear me? Join a common sense united political party and give democracy a chance. 3 percent will not cut it.
The educated elites are the minority. For the love of country.
I think PDOIS rather see Jammeh and his APRC party ruin the country than give UDP a chance to unseat him. This is my observation.
Nonsense bee dafa Doi.
“When two businesses merge……..” If that’s what you see politics to be, you got to look for someone who shares the same views….I think many who follow PDOIS (not necessarily members) will.by now know that it does not view politics as a “business”…It is only those who think about the benefits they can enjoy via political office that view politics as a business..
After all, businesses are in business for their own interest and when two or more merge, each tries to protect as much of its interest as it can..
To reduce politics and attempts to form an alliance to the merger of businesses is a very bad analogy no serious politician or political analyst should indeed make ..
“…..than give UDP a chance to unseat him. This is my observation…..”
Youre entitled to that view, but my observation is that it is not PDOIS who will give the UDP that chance, but The Gambian electorate…Moreover, how could a 3% party hold such sway over the voters..? Something does not add up with this type of contradictory logic..
“Nonsense bee dafa Doi.”
My observation is that you need to be more civil…this sort of language has no place in a forum for mature discussions on national issues.. whether that forum is a public space or a political platform..
okay Bax let us do some word smiting and replace the word business with entity. The message I was trying to get across stays the same. you and I know the point I was making.
PDOIS is a 3 percent party that wants to lead a coalition, if the party truly has the country’s interest at heart it should be fighting for guarantees in the coalition rather than obstructing progress
sorry about the language
@Max..”So you can’t compare the two opposition parties…”
Max, I know better than comparing apples and oranges…PDOIS and UDP are political parties, but that’s where the similarities end.. It’s you and your camp that make comparisons but I will not make that error…
No doubt, UDP has managed to have the 2nd largest share of votes since 1996, but in a system where a simple majority is all that you need to win, what use is a runner up..?
Does it really matter whether one losing candidate had 30% and another had 3%, in an election where the winning candidate had only 31% …?
Apart from statistical and historical purposes, what significance does the 30% of the closest losing candidate have.. ? Absolutely nothing…
So I really don’t see the point of throwing that weight around..?
“PDOIS engage in “paper politics ” …..”
Observation: I will ask you to tell us what political activities does any party engage in that PDOIS does not engage in..?
“which means their presence is felt by small group of elite-educated Gambians whose belief in soviet era politics. …”
Observation: Really Max..?.Where is your evidence for this claim..? As far as the evidence shows, PDOIS’ biggest support base is in Wuli, where they held a parliamentary seat for the longest period, and I don’t think the people of Wuli are “elite-educated Gambians who believe in Soviet era politics…” Really Max, you should be better than this…
“They sound very good in their talking points with Fellow educated Gambians….”
Observation: That sounds like an acknowledgement that they know what they are talking about…
“…..but they have dogmatic approach to politics in the 21st century…”
Observation: Would you care to share with us some of this dogmatic approach..?
PDOIS advocates and practices enlightenment politics: educating the voters (about the choices available between them and party in government) and leaving the voter to make their choice….Is that dogmatic..?
PDOIS is opposed to all forms of inducement politics..? Is that dogmatic.?
PDOIS advocates a public-private sector partnership development approach, where social wealth is used to support private initiative (or something in that line)…
For example, the state provides material, financial, storage, marketing and distriburion support to women vegetable gardeners to develop the productive base of the economy…Is that dogmatic..?
What is dogmatic is the insistence on the BRETTON/WOODS private sector led development approach, in a country where that private sector does not exist…
Yero Ba , as I said before it would be betrayal if UDP didn’t name their flag bearer in next 6 months . Do your party name your flag bearer or Halifa sallah is the presumed heir as once claimed by kamalo ? Right now we talking about possible coalition or alliance . I know it is in your interest to change this discussion to UDP but you need to remember that it is last paragraph of this letter where mr sallah didn’t acknowledge the obstacles we are facing , got me to criticise him and you have never say a word about that paragraph .
Senator sanders is talking about democratic socialism which is similarly found in Scandinavian countries such as Netherlands , Norway etc which is different from communism in former Soviet Union . He consider himself social democrat and he favors progressive policies such as universal health , climate change , gay rights and so on . So don’t confuse yourself here .
Senator Sanders main political campaign is about income inequality and he is fairly doing better because he has similar coalition of people who voted president Obama into power . But Bernie sanders is not going to win democratic nomination. Even if he did , USA is capitalist society where individual wealth and achievements are greatly appreciated and celebrated due to free enterprise and individual entrepreneurism. Of course I do like sanders idea of helping the poor people , but the idea of European type of socialism where people refused to work and become of part of welfare state is something I won’t support . In our country , we have similar problem , though we do not have welfare state but we have too much dependency on individual which makes lot of people lazy to find job and be creative . Today if Disapora stop sending money to the country for just two months , I am confident that Gambian people would do something to kick Jammeh’s ass from statehouse . But the problem is that majority are receiving free money every month because of socialistic nature of our society and culture yet our government never recognize our efforts in making the country stable as well as helping our families .
“….because of socialistic nature of our society and culture….”
Alhamdu LILLAH (All praise due to Allah)…Max is coming closer to the truth…
So Max, the the ideal political and economic system for our society, would be one that is in line with this intrinsic national socialist quality, which you admit, is the “nature of our society and culture”, rather than the dogmatic adherence to the individualistic Bretton woods capitalist dogma that is advocated by all except PDOIS..
Truth shall set you free Max…
“A leader needs to inspire people and have a vision to bring about desire change. This is why I call on PDOIS to change strategy because people do not see them as leaders. for the past 30 years, they do not have any significant support base which they inspire, motivate and lead to bring about desire change. I hope this criticism will be used as self evaluation for the party to change strategy. PDOIS has some great ideas which if they change strategy can be tremendous help for the development of the party and it can significantly enhance the democratization process in The Gambia.”
Max, PDOIS’s political strategy is premised on the basis that power belongs to the people. That it is only the people who can bring about change. And it is inconceivable for the people to bring about change if they do not understand the powers that are inherent in them to bring about such a change.
This was the starting point for PDOIS. To help the people realize the power that they have so that they can collectively change their political circumstances; their political situation.
This is the reason why PDOIS always want to go back to the people. This is also the reason why PDOIS has stated that they will never take power at the back of the people. The desire is only to serve the people.
And this reminds me of a popular PDOIS saying in their political rallies in the early days of the emergence of the party:
“That an old woman was carrying a heavy load on her head. You offered to help her carry the load instead. She refused and you insisted that you must carry the load for her. When she stood her ground that you would not carry her load you went to a corner and started to cry.”
The moral of the story is that your intention is not to help the old woman carry her load but instead to steal the load from her.
This analogy best describes PDOIS’s approach to Gambian politics and has characterized the relation that always exist between PDOIS and the Gambian electorate. They want to serve the people. But they also want the people to make that choice on their own without any coercion. They regard serving the people as a fundamental duty which they have decided to do out of their own volition.
They will tell the people how they will serve them; that they will empower them, inspire them, bring out all the leadership qualities in them and motivate them so that they will take charge of their country.
What better way to exemplify good leadership than to bring out the best in people so that collectively they will take care of their shared values and shared destiny? So that they can take back their country. This is what PDOIS tries to do.
Nobody is buying it yet. Please give us a break.
It’s an evolutionary process that has no time frame, and because so many other factors and interests are also in play and competing for the same audience, but not for the same reasons, it is even more difficult….
The PDOIS leadership are very much aware of the monumental tasks they have set themselves from day one and I’m sure they will persevere for as long they are naturally able to do..
Max, please don’t waste your precious time about PDOIS because they will never listen or agree to the truth. They will never change strategy even the world will come to end. Let UDP continue to reach out to the Gambian people and gain their support. People want change and they will get it from UDP.
“People want change and they will get it from UDP”
Brother Hydara….! Do you see now why I stated that a word of caution is necessary..? This is exactly the sort of feeling I get when I read or hear some UDP supporters and fans…They think because they had such a fantastic nationwide tour, they can defeat the APRC, with or without an alliance…
Good Luck Mr Janjanbureh because you will need all the luck there is to achieve such a feat..but don’t blame anyone if you fail…
Absolutely a remark of concern; ”People want change and they will get it from UDP”.Such a remark is very much inappropriate.
However the case may be, it is time we will see, if the Gambia’s opposition party politics have gone any near, where, expected of them.
Hello Bax, I must say I admire your stamina in dealing with the likes of Maxs and all UDP bunch of disgruntles. I read anger and indignation in their wordings as if PDOIS is the ruling party APRC causing them all the havoc. Their frustration lies with themselves and no one but they want to use PDOIS as their scape goat which will not happen because sooner or later people are bound to discover their shortcomings. These intellectuals in the UDP should put their heads together to put their house in order. Kinteh has echoed it louder for them but they are pretending that there is no problem.
PDOIS is the biggest opposition party in the Gambia today. This is the reality which cannot be hidden. They will deny it today and run to a 1987 election result when PDOIS was only three months old to cover up PDOIS’ present popularity. See how furious Maxs become when I mentioned to him that PDOIS is the fastest growing party in the Gambia.
Ask anybody, PDOIS is the only party monitoring the entire registration process in the country singlehandedly for the opposition. So-called big parties have not covered a single constituency in the country and during rallies would come up with all kinds of fabrications without facts and give it to the Deydas to parambulate all over the globe.
PDOIS’ position on unity has no ambiguity. Lets unite and allow the people to select the flagbearer who will stand in an independent ticket which will run a transition government for a short timeframe to regulate the country on a democratic footing. After that all parties can go their way since there will be a second round and a term limit in place. The media will be free to educate and inform the citizenry and hold government to account. What is more simpler than that? If you are big party the people will select you to lead and PDOIS has no qualm with that. As a PDOIS supporter I am urging my leaders to stick on the above for any eventual coming together with any party. We must give the people the chance to decide their fate. After all we want to bring about genuine Democratic change and why the adamancy on this simple democratic process among people who are everyday shouting for democracy and fair play in their writings. Leave Maxs to keep diverting the discourse to bygone eras which have no bearing on our present realities. PDOIS manifesto has explicitly explained what it intends to do when it is given the chance to run the Gambia. An independent analyst worth his salt would take that and make a critique on it to see if it is prudent in addressing the needs and aspirations of the Gambian people. But the likes of Maxs with hidden agendas would prefer PDOIS militants to join in the shouting and insult and name calling in rallies and streets without dilating on serious national debate on the most pressing issues such as the economy etc, only to come back and call that a new language and turning a new leaf. When will we grow as a people?
Yero Ba , you are indeed taking this criticism personally and called people ” disgruntled ” UDP supporters . We have every right to criticise your party leader and I think you should be tolerance to deal with the likes of Maxs who have respectfully disagree with some positions of your party leadership . If you cannot deals with the likes of Maxs when you are not in power , how about when your leader is elected into office ? I think you need to develop thick skin and respect people’s view . You are an extreme element of your party and you continue to make outlandish claims . How can you claimed that PDOIS is the biggest and fastest growing party in The Gambia ? So you see yero Ba , if you want to be respected as useful commentator , you should stop making ridiculous and outlandish claims . Majority of Gambians know that PDOIS is not the biggest opposition party despite being in politics for 4 decades . Get your facts straight and present a fair view. Can you tell us percentage of total votes PDOIS received in the last election to substantiate your outlandish claims ?
I think we needs to have a coalition or alliance , whatever makes sense , is feasible and practical I would support that whether it is independent candidate or biggest party led coalition . I prefer biggest party led coalition and I think UDP is the best political party to lead the nation into more democratic footing because majority of Gambians are supporting them and they have good policies and programes to achieve that . They have more support base than any other opposition party in the country .
Bax , what I mean about the ” socialistic nature of society and culture ” is simply too much dependency, that has nothing to do with political and economic system of the society . Is PDOIS advocating for welfare state or communism where people entirely depend on the government or majority depend on the few for their survival or where entrepreneurism or private enterprise is not encourage ? I know you sound like a socialist who believe in non-ownership of properties or do not believe in free market or entrepreneurism . This is why PDOIS message are not resonating with people for the past 40 years despite their eloquency on paper . In as much as dependency is high in The Gambia , Gambian people believe in entrepreneurism , free market , private enterprise and liberal economic policy . Today the world is more capitalist than communism / socialism which your party is advocating . It would be disastrous to have our country as welfare state where people depend on the government for the most part . Our little resources cannot afford such system . Such system will encourage laziness , inability to be creative and , lack of entrepreneurism . Such societies do not encourage innovations which result from individual potentials because people may not see immediate benefit from their talents .
Our current military dictatorship is aided by lack of entrepreneurism or private sector development because we have majority of citizens depending on the government for employment . This is why today , majority of civil servants are corrupt and they live their lives based on corruption , and mismanagement despite the fact that they claimed to be true religious people ( Muslim or Christian ) . Lack of many job sources ( private enterprise ) has result to so many to Join security forces such as army , police force and national irresponsible agency ( NIA ) as the biggest employers in the country. These security forces becomes loyal to the Dictator who control every sector of our lives because they do not see any hope in finding better job . Therefore the socialism PDOIS is advocating is going to make people depend more on the government , discourage private enterprise and individual entrepreneurism if I truly understand your party . In a free market and capitalist society , people have choices to make because there is private sector development and the private sector is seen as main sources of employement . Those in the government , most people see employment as public services but not as the only hope of securing jobs . In fact private sector pays more and has better benefits or incentives because they encourage entrepreneurism or innovations. This is the kind of thinking our country needs but not that old Soviet mentality . People can be free and less corrupt when they have choices to make in seeking employment. We have to encourage individual innovation , creativity and entrepreneurism to move our country forward .
Kamalo , I think it is better to call your party civic organization because they do not demonstrate leadership , which is to inspire ,motivate and lead . If they are not interested to lead but only want to educate people to understand issue and leave the decision to people, that is not leadership . Leadership should have shared Vision which inspire people to take action . For the past 40 years , you have the same tactics without any political base except in Wuli where mr Jatta has represented the people for long time . His achievements in representation of the area in the National Assembly can also be seen as result of personality based politics because he is from the closed knit community . But in the case of mr sallah , he is from diverse community with bigger population where people do not resonate with his political beliefs . Why PDOIS is one constituency based party after 40 years ?
The PDOIS is second oldest opposition party in the Gambia and therefore deserves respect and reach in every good interest of the country when the need arise. This is the very moment I think, we need to demonstrate how matured a politician we are. Bunching up citizens as ‘disgruntled’ is as immature as when Deyda says; ‘people want change and they will get it from UDP. I always wonder what ‘disgruntled’, is suppose to mean in the public space. One must have to have lost something out there to be disgruntled.
Max, it seems as if you guys are not listening. You are only interested in what you want to hear. And consequently you build your expectations around what you want other people to do.
PDOIS has been very consistent in what they say. And they have been saying this for more than three decades. That unless and until the Gambian people acknowledge the power that resides in them, and take ownership of this power, they will never be able to change their political situation.
Now, instead of acknowledging that power belongs to the people, and that indeed the people can take ownership of this power, PDOIS is being accused of all shorts of things. That they do not demonstrate leadership. That they are merely interested in educating the people.
If we look at the arguments that form the basis of PDOIS’s political thinking, and how its leaders arrived at the decision to commit their lives to Gambian politics, we will have a better understanding of the postulations that form the bulk of PDOIS’s political ideology.
The first contention that PDOIS raised is that there are two types of revolutions that have shaped the direction of African politics. One is an “independence” revolution waged by the nationalist revolutionary movements that has helped to bring political independence to most of Africa.
The other is a nationalist democratic revolution, which the founding fathers of most African countries have failed to realized, and another generation of well informed and conscious Africans are trying to prosecute. It is to this group that PDOIS belongs. To give power back to the people.
To give context to this argument we will bring it closer to home. When the Gambia attained its independence, instead of opening the frontiers of democracy with well established democratic structures and institutions, those who took over power where merely interested in consolidating this power.
They emasculated and weakened other opposition parties to the point that the country was a virtual one party state. This political hegemony was eventual overthrown by a coup.
Those who took over inherited this political culture and consolidated power. We are a living witness to what the outcome will be.
Now the only thing left is to arouse a national awakening and a concerted effort to give the country a new start. A start where we will begin to prosecute a democratic revolution: to create and build all the structures and institutions that will ensure a genuine and progressive democratic dispensation. Why is this so difficult to understand?
I dont know how long will it take for Halifa to understand that he’s just not good as a politician. I think he would make a good lecturer at the University of the Gambian. For more than 30 years Gambians have failed to buy his political ideology.
Mr sallah and PDOIS have some good ideas but they have woefully failed to convince Gambians to join their party . On that note , I totally agree they need change of strategy , new brains and energy , or to simply join university of The Gambia as political science lecturer . Mr sallah may be an excellent lecturer should he decide to teach at the university but the only complain his students might express is inability to summarize his presentation or lecture . He is very qualified and experience to be a political science lecturer . President Obama was former constitutional law professor at university of Chicago . Sometimes during his press conference he will provide professorial answers which are lengthy just like mr sallah give lengthy explanation in his letters . I would encourage him to take a job at the university or private college to continue his selfless and humanitarian work . He is a great statesman and has exemplary character but his communication strategy is not working out for him.
Max, can you imagine what the Gambia would have been without Halifa being a player on the Gambian political scene.
Also, if we look at the state of Gambian politics before the emergence of PDOIS as a political party, and the state of Gambian politics after PDOIS became a political party, there has been greater political consciousness and awareness after PDOIS became a political party. And Halifa has been instrumental in this political transformation.
I would therefore argue that Halifa is more effective on the Gambian political scene, than he would have been in any academic setting.
He has helped to guide the political orientation of a lot of Gambian youths after PDOIS was formed. Or even before.
Moreover his voluminous writings about the Gambia; on the economy, on the political situation, our social and cultural realities, would have been just an academic exercise.
His voice would have been restrained within the confines of the corridors of University campuses, and other academic forums that would have no benefit to the majority of ordinary Gambians. Those that need a medium to amplify their voices.
Today, Halifa can talk to them in Wollof and Mandinka. And can physically interact with them. So Halifa belongs to the village bantaba rather than in a classroom.
Why are you interested now to push Halifa into a classroom? Is it about the Gambian presidency? Leave Halifa where he is most comfortable: to be with the people.
It may come to you as a surprise that PDOIS has a lot of sympathizers. Those who agree with their principles, their programs and political agenda.
So PDOIS has convinced a lot of people the majority of whom are just silent observers. They do not need to be PDOIS members.
And I will argue that most of the educated Gambians who witnessed the evolution of PDOIS as a political party are still sympathetic to the PDOIS cause. Those young Gambians who used to attend PDOIS rallies and symposiums in the eighties. Most are now degree holders and professionals resident in the diaspora.
The seeming lack of support in PDOIS is that the PDOIS struggle is a very lonely one. It is a protracted struggle.
But those who lead this struggle have the fortitude and the determination to see it through. And there will be a generation of other leaders who will continue where others have left off. So PDOIS is there for the long haul.
Kamalo , I agree with you about the good work PDOIS has done over the years in terms of education and awareness but as I said before they needed to lead , inspire and motivate the population to follow their political ideology but they failed to achieve that in 40 years . They can only achieve their goals when they are in power but Gambian people have repudiated their political ideology which is why they don’t have good support base across the country . This might also be due to their messaging . It is because of these reasons that I call on them to change strategy .
“… but as I said before they needed to lead, inspire and motivate the population to follow their political ideology but they failed to achieve that in 40 years. They can only achieve their goals when they are in power but Gambian people have repudiated their political ideology which is why they don’t have good support base across the country.”
Max, then the question is: what is PDOIS’s political ideology? And more importantly, how is this political ideology repudiated by the Gambian people?
Can you answer these two questions. This will give focus to our understanding of these concepts as we relate them to Gambian politics.
PDOIS political ideology is being repudiated by Gambians simply because of lack of significant support among Gambian electorates and this result to rejection of their politicies and programes . Their poor performance in every election year is an indication of that rejection . PDOIS ideology which they claim to be independent and democratic socialism is rejected and repudiated by Gambian people for the past 4 decades .
Why do PDOIS perform so poorly if Gambian people didn’t reject their ideology , policies and programs ?
Maxs, I ENTIRELY agree with u on PDOIS political strategy n that its unworkable for more than 4 decades. Kamalo, if u said that PDOIS have a a lot of support base, now, the multi-million dollar question is why does PDOIS ARMY of supporters always abandon them when it comes to elections and raising funds to support them? I have an enormous amount of respect for Halifa and his contribution to Gambia’s political discourse but he’s not making any headway in terms of any political gains. Hamat Bah with all his inconsistency, Gambians would rather vote for him than the eloquent Halifa, which is very unfortunate.
“Maxs, I ENTIRELY agree with u on PDOIS political strategy n that its unworkable for more than 4 decades”
Alhagie, I am going to ask you: What is PDOIS’s political strategy? How is this political strategy unworkable for more than 4 decades?
My intent here is to grasp whether you understand what PDOIS has been doing. And how is it that PDOIS can stay relevant and impactful for more than three decades.
“Kamalo, if u said that PDOIS have a a lot of support base, now, the multi-million dollar question is why does PDOIS ARMY of supporters always abandon them when it comes to elections and raising funds to support them? ”
Alhagie this is what I wrote :
“It may come to you as a surprise that PDOIS has a lot of sympathizers. Those who agree with their principles, their programs and political agenda.
So PDOIS has convinced a lot of people the majority of whom are just silent observers. They do not need to be PDOIS members.”
The statement above that you attributed to me, and the conclusions thereby drawn, therefore does not truly reflect what I have stated.
I don’t know the source of PDOIS funding when it comes to elections. And I would not contend that PDOIS members would abandon their party when it comes to raising funds to support them.
“I have an enormous amount of respect for Halifa and his contribution to Gambia’s political discourse but he’s not making any headway in terms of any political gains. Hamat Bah with all his inconsistency, Gambians would rather vote for him than the eloquent Halifa, which is very unfortunate.”
How is that so? Halifa and Hamat have never contested against each other.
Kamalo thanks for your response. PDOIS political strategy is writing letters to a dictator and always reminding him about his excesses whenever he goes wrong, even though is clear to Halifa that Jammeh will never heed to his long letters.
When it comes to forming a coalition to dislodge an incumbent from power, its clear every where in the world that the biggest oppositon party lead the coalition and the Gambia should not be an exception. But in the case of PDOIS, when u talk about coalition Halifa is talking about primaries that is not only alien to the Gambian voters but to many of his many sympathisers.
You stated that PDOIS silenced sympathiser, which shows to me that even though they acknowledge PDOIS good work, but they would not vote for PDOIS due to their flawed political strategy.
Amed Bah is the obvious choice for most of the electorates in the Gambia compare to Halifa as shown by number of votes in the past election.
This are some of the reasons i think Halifa will be very useful as a lecturer at the University of the Gambia lol.
“PDOIS political ideology is being repudiated by Gambians simply because of lack of significant support among Gambian electorates and this result to rejection of their politicies and programes . Their poor performance in every election year is an indication of that rejection . PDOIS ideology which they claim to be independent and democratic socialism is rejected and repudiated by Gambian people for the past 4 decades .
Why do PDOIS perform so poorly if Gambian people didn’t reject their ideology , policies and programs ?”
Max, first and foremost, the basic constituents of any ideology are ideas, ideals and principles. And PDOIS’s political ideology is premised on these objectives. It forms the basis of their economic policy, and it informs their political theory of how a society ought to be governed.
On this note, let us examine what are the ideas of PDOIS; what are its ideals and principles, its economic policy and its theory of how our society ought to be governed.
We will also examine whether the Gambian electorate have rejected PDOIS based on these notions.
PDOIS is born out of an idea; that is the reason why one may disagree with the proponents of the idea, but will find it very difficult to disagree with the idea itself.
And the idea is that sovereignty resides with the people. That the people own themselves and that nobody owns them.
That the people have rights that are inalienable, and among these rights are life, the freedom to make their own choices, and the right to determine their manner of governance.
An ideal is something that is regarded. A conception of something that embodies a standard that can be emulated. And PDOIS’s ideal is to create a society that embodies a standard that can be emulated.
A principle is the recognition of a basic and fundamental truth and one’s desire to uphold and live by that truth. And PDOIS’s principle is to defend and uphold the truth. And in this case, truth is not relative but the absence of any perceived doubt to the contrary.
Therefore based on PDOIS’s political literature, their speeches and the various publications made available to the public, it is safe to say nowhere has PDOIS aligned itself to any political dogma. Although they may be guided by the finest principles underlying these political ideologies.
They believe in socialist principles, notwithstanding the fact these are measured and take into consideration our political circumstances and social realities. They will defend public enterprises and make them more profitable.
PDOIS is also cognizant of the fact that development given our circumstances could both be undertaken by the private and public sectors of the economy. In as much as the interest of the nation is always paramount.
Yes, there will be initiatives in the public and private sectors that will encourage them to create more jobs. And thus help the economy. This is outlined in PDOIS’s agenda for Democracy and Development:
“Public and private initiatives will be relied on to engage in fishing, processing, construction and other services to generate employment, boost up trade and development”.
PDOIS want to manage an inexpensive, people centered and development oriented government. And will take into account the broader issues of governance, democracy, transparency and accountability.
Given that our economy largely depends on agriculture, how this production is organized and distributed is fundamental to PDOIS’s economic policies. Thus they want to encourage farmers to form genuine Cooperatives to facilitate a mechanism that will store and market their produce.
Agriculture also will be linked to industry. Thus the creation of public and private enterprises to undertake light scale industrial activities to process some of these farm produce and create jobs.
These can expand the market base for these produce. They can be converted from their raw state to their finish products. A lot of secondary enterprises can emerged from this ranging from marketing to distribution outlets.
In a nutshell, these are some of the programs and agenda that constitute what we may regard as PDOIS’s political ideology.
A people centered democracy, to assert our true independence and guided with the finest principles that underpin a socialist ideology.
Now you tell me whether PDOIS has been repudiated by the Gambian electorate based on what I have outlined above.