The political parties and the people of the Gambia are poised for election to fill the highest position in the country. What is to happen on 1 December 2016 is unfolding day by day as candidates declare their candidature and as people take their stand.
The 2016 presidential election appears to be one that would be vigorously contested. All shades of opinion, parties and personalities are coming to the foreground. Many people who had taken backstage are now taking the forefront in promoting one candidate or the other. Voices that had never been heard on the political platform are now been heard. Cyber space is now providing for the amplification of the voices of the different political forces contesting to take charge of the destiny of the country. Pluralism of ideas is flourishing.
What is however essential is to bear in mind that it is the right of every Gambian to elect representatives or be elected if they meet the necessary criteria and earn the support of the people. Respect of people’s rights is a virtue that every sovereign citizen should exercise if all Gambians embrace such a democratic virtue.
Debates over policies and political opinions would be characterized by maturity and tolerance to enable the people to make informed choices. This is the way forward for 2016 if we want the people to make the right choice.
The above culled Foroyaa Newspaper piece has summed up the very essence of democracy, which is all about flourishing of ideas. Until we argue we can never get to the center. We do well when we politic without throwing venom at one another. Words hurt badly and that spoken words cannot be retracted. We may have different routes or strategies to employ but our ultimate goal is to get to the Promised Land. We should not therefore turn the journey into exchange of fists.