The devil is in the voting card and the electorate!
All discussions and arguments in the diaspora are centered around Ousainou Darboe this, Halifa Sallah that, OJ Jallow this, Hamat Bah this, Yaya Jammeh that. All these political leaders have only one card to vote for themselves in an election day, PERIOD. They matter very little in counting the votes in a voting day. It is the hundreds of thousands of registered voters who join the voting lines to cast their votes that matter in REAL POLITIKS. Once a voter gets into a polling booth no one knows for sure whom that person will vote for. That is why it is called a secret ballot, that is why it becomes a gamble filled with uncertainties running high in party headquarters whiles results are compiled.
UDP this, PDOIS that, PPP this, APRC this, NRP that, all these political parties depend on their party’s limited militants albeit the resources to galvanize the voters to vote for them. The militants of political parties do not represent more than 5% of the registered voters. One can therefore safely say that 90% to 95% of the registered voters are NOT party militants. These are people who care less about what goes on within party lines. These people care MORE about their living conditions and look up to candidates they believe can improve their living conditions when elected. These are the main targets of any serious candidate vying for office.
Others theorize that if the opposition presents ONE candidate they can win the elections. Can anyone swear or stake that this will happen in December 2016. I for one will not buy the theory simply because people do not vote because there is only one candidate against Jammeh in the ring. Again people have various reasons why they vote for candidate A or B. The reasons of voting A or B are many amongst which, some vote to maintain the status quo because they benefit from it, others because change will open the miles2 prisons gates for them. These categories of voters are not many compared to those that have nothing to fear or loose in a change of president. Others will vote go vote because they don’t like Jammeh, some others because Jammeh messed up the country’s economy and international reputation, others because Jammeh is a brutal leader who jails and tortures and kills easily etc. etc. The fact is the vast majority of voters are the ones that candidates cajole and promise to improve their lives if voted in office. This is why candidate Jammeh always raises the electoral fever up to promising white maids in our poor houses in the Gambia Lol! There is of course a reason why he is saying that, it is working for him whiles knowing very well he lying to the teeth but it has worked for him in four election cycles undeniably. Curse him if you like, calling him the biggest liar and murderer if you like but it will change nothing in the narrative of winning votes based on promises four times over.
What candidate X, Y, Z promises the electorate if voted into office matters a lot in real politics. This is exactly where Jammeh beats the other candidates. Whiles other candidates shy away from big nice promises and stick to the monotonous empty promise to take him to jail, he promises heaven on earth to the electorate knowing this is exactly what the electorate wants to hear from a candidate. “ See in videos the clapping’s in all his wild promises made during campaigns for you to understand what I am saying”.
No one should underrate sweet electoral promises made in an election campaign; doing so amounts to not knowing a thing about real politics.
Politics is not about what you want to hear it is rather about what the electorate wants to hear. Frankly speaking only Hamat Bah understands this fact whiles other candidates bury their heads in Jammeh this and that and how bad he is. Few people care about that. The majority of voters, care more about which candidate promises to improve their living conditions when voted into office.
Again what matters in voting is not unity or lack of unity, what matters to people is the popularity, the charisma and the capacity to deliver on promises made by the candidates in the ring, period.
Still others will argue the opposition has no access to local media but all of us know the people on the ground are more connected to Satellite TV than GRTS. The Senegalese media has more audience in the Gambia than the GRTS. This is where president Macky Sall can help Gambians have access to the media in Senegal to communicate their electoral messages in a democratic manner if he considers Jammeh an enemy of a peaceful Senegambia. As such, the communication medium available on the ground premises on grass roots meetings and rallies, neighborhood get together, door-to-door canvassing and the attaya vous. This is exactly what all-political parties are doing specially the APRC and the UDP.
Finally if votes are counted on the spot where is then the fear about vote rigging considering all parties will have representatives and officials witnessing the counting process?
Again the ultimate target in elections is the cardholders who decide to go to vote. They are over 90% of the registered voters whom any candidate should try to motivate to vote for them based on electoral promises made. So blaming leader A, B, C or party W, Y, Z is irrelevant in REAL POLITICKS what matters most in an election is to galvanize voters to go vote for a particular candidate.
The target is the ELECTORATE and nothing else.