Gambia Opposition Forge Coalition

The Gambia’s opposition political parties yesterday agreed to forget a coalition to take on President Yahya Jammeh who is seeking a fifth term in office on December 1st 2016. In a statement published below, all the opposition parties, including the United Democratic Party have signed an agreement to select a coalition candidate through a convention on October 30th. The only opposition party that didn’t endorse the agreement was the Gambia Democratic Congress of Mama Kandeh.



  1. Anyway , this is a good move on the part of opposition parties . I hope they continue to make more progress and finally agree on one candidate who has the interest of the people , well qualify and has character and temperament to lead our country in this difficult period . Convention is another way to select a candidate . It is far better choice than a primary process which is costy and has high potential of creating disunity among opposition parties . Mama kandeh cannot be trusted and I hope he act and behave soon in the best interest of Gambian people . I commend all the opposition leaders for taking part in this discussion.

  2. Mama kandeh cannot be trusted . He and his party’s position of having a nationwide primary process which is the same as the position of pdois is another indication that he is not serious about change of regime . Pdois and GDC are conniving to hijack the next step of this discussion in coalition building. We must remember that these two political parties are both close to dictator Jammeh in every sense of the word . Mama should be ashmed of himself for even indicating that he want to lead the coalition when there is no indication that he has the support base which could result to his victory. This is the first time he is in politics at the national level , He is not popular as many people suggested , people are just curious about him which is why they attended his meeting . This man has no proven record to show Gambians that he is fit to lead . There is no difference between mama kandeh and Yaya Jammeh because both of them are human rights abusers . Mama approved every dictatorial policy and laws Jammeh put in place. Opposition parties should be careful of such a con man who failed to tell us his educational background . I hope Halifa Sallah will do the right thing and do not connive with GDC. All eyes on these two dishonest politicians who may hijack the coalition building process.

  3. Un. Pr. GB

    I am with the GDC on this phase of opposition Coalition importance for a Government in readily, apparent but available to represent and lead the Gambian people by virture of Nationally grace with political conceptual of within an open convention to all citizens.
    That’s where the sense have always been and that’s why I’m so glad to hear such hard facts coming from the GDC who are really into leading Gambians with principles rather than with selfishness.

  4. I believe that what was achieved by this agreement is a milestone. They have really bowed down to common sense and paved the way for a credible selection process.
    Going forward, the outcome of that selection must be consequently transparent and clear. The aspirants have endorsed the modalities of the selection process, knowing very well that only one winner can come out from that convention. But that would be winner is not yet the winner. They are all electable. They would all be winners if they accept the results and collectively embrace the flag bearer.

    Nonetheless, we can and must anticipate disappointment, cries of foul play and effort to torpedo the whole process. However, the achieved compromise for the selection of the flagbearer turns out to be the best bargain. With their signatures, we expect from the parties a very constrictive participation at the convention and full support for anyone declared the winner.

    • Dodou Jawneh

      For me the method signifies a compromise, but a weak one, because of the opposition leaders’ lack of commitment to choose more effective methods. The weakness in this one is that the candidate emerging from the convention will be representative of too narrow a segment of the opposition electorate. Secondly it may lead to the selection of a candidate from an unpopular party, creating the possibility of voter apathy among opposition electorates. These two alternative methods, in order of preference, would have produced better strategies for kicking the backside of tyrannical Jammeh:
      1. Select Adama Barrow who represents the party with the most support in the length and breath of the country.
      2. Allow Isatou Touray, who put forward her intention to run as independent candidate with limited term, to be the compromise candidate if the established parties cannot accept option one.

  5. Another colossal waste of time. Come December, Jammeh will be sworn again as the undisputed president of the Islamic Republic of the Gambia.

    I know gambians very well. These coalition minds are the same. BUT THEIR HEARTS ARE NOT. Mark my words. I am tired of the gambian people hypocrisy.

  6. The most disintegrated hearts amongst them won’t give a significance to opposition majority with the bold hypocrisy of the notion that no party could defeat the Aprc alone.
    Hypocrisy breeds mental fatigue.

  7. Max, it is unfortunate but the accusatory language you are bringing into this discussion is a national disservice. You make it very difficult for me to believe that you have the interest of the Gambia at heart. I want to believe that you have your own interest at heart and also the interest of the political party that you represent.

    Even now that the opposition political discourse has moved away from its partisan bickering to evolve a national character, you are still engaged in your negative approach to politics of throwing insults at your perceived political enemies.

    PDOIS has undoubtedly raised the level of political dialogue and engagement to the point that for the first time all the opposition political parties can come together and agree on something.

    This is a first. And PDOIS is the party that evolved this process. But instead of acknowledging the pivotal role that PDOIS has played to effectuate what has been accomplished you are here throwing stones.

    PDOIS’s argument and position in all coalition deliberations is that there must be a process.

    And in this process there must be selection/election and choice. And this has been manifested in its convention and primary proposals. This two methods of selection has been advanced by PDOIS as a coalition mechanism.

    So what has been actualized in the coalition talks is a win-win for PDOIS and all the other parties involved in the process.

    We have now gone beyond party politics. The opposition debate is now a national issue. There is no interest for your partisan politics

  8. Kamalo said max ” you make it difficult for me to believe that you have the interest of The Gambia at heart . I want to believe that you have your own interest at heart and the interest of the party you represent ”

    First of all , your statements above is indeed from a mindset of dictator or tyrant . You are speaking like dictator Jammeh. For you to question my love and interest of The Gambia at heart is the most absurd , malicious , dishonest , silly , disingenuous and just plain hypocrisy I have ever heard from you . You must be out of your mind .
    Let me make it clear to your indocrinated mind , I have no interest to look for any position in post Jammeh era , all I care about is rule of law , democracy and constitutionalism in our country. Udp is a pragmatic party which is why they have agreed to convention despite the fact that majority of other small parties including pdois has no significant support and structure across the country . Udp could have insisted on party led coalition since it is the biggest polical party but they have shown pragmatism and love for the country in this discussion.
    What I pointed out about the GDC in this coalition building is exactly the same position of pdois which has been consistent in their call for primary election . GDC refusal to endorse the convention , its proposal of primary election is not in the best interest of Gambian people considering the current political environment . GDC and pdois knows that primary process is the dumb proposal at the moment. Halifa and pdois should have called for simple negotiations rather than insist on primary election since last year . Pdois only proposed primary election which they stated each party candidate must get 5000 votes to select their candidate and contest in open primary process . Pdois have never emphasis on convention method in their proposal . So stop making things up in your head .
    I have commended all the opposition leaders including Halifa for taking part in this discussion. I am still concern about him and GDC to hijack this process and I have every right to do so because these are two parties that came up with a dumb idea of primary. I am glad that smart politicians prevail on convention. My first choice in all this is simple negotiation to select a single candidate but if that is not possible , a convention is another method i prefer but a primary is simply a dumb idea . Any political party which insist on primary election is making a bidding for Jammeh to win. You can’t give credit to only pdois in this case because it is collective efforts on all opposition parties , Gofer , udp in particular which has been calling coalition. You must remember that udp is the biggest player in all this because they are biggest party which always work for the interest of Gambian people . We must commend udp leadership for compromise and even allow this discussion to take place . I hope Halifa will continue to work with other leaders and do not impose himself as the leader of coalition during voting process . It remain to be seem the next level of this process . I hope mr Barrow is chosen to lead the coalition .
    Mama kandeh is the worst person in the world as Gambia opposition parties are concerned . He should be ashmed of himself .

    • Max…

      I cannot reproduce what your position was in 2011, but I have no doubt that you would have rejected the convention proposal from PDOIS, which elected Mr Hamat Bah, because the UDP rejected it then.

      Like I said before, you are a pseudo-analyst, whose standards are set according to what the UDP does…If the UDP was to propose a primary today, you would be championing that as the right way, just as you are coo-cooing for the convention today because they agreed to it.

      Well, you can claim all the credit for your party’s pragmatism, but for many like me, we are just pleased that progress is being made towards the realisation of an illusive dream…regardless of who initiated the initiative or who was pragmatic…

      • Bax said max ” I cannot reproduce what your position was in 2011 but I have no doubt you would have rejected the convention proposal from pdois , which elected mr Hamat Bah because the udp rejected it then ” .
        Bax , in your statement above you made assumption without any evidence. Pdois has never propose a convention for any opposition coalition or alliance . Pdois has always emphasized and advocated for primary elections which we have extensively debated here. Please provide an evidence where pdois proposed a convention as a mean of selection of coalition flag bearer this election . I would like to see the evidence please .
        As I have said here before , primary election is not an ideal method of choosing a coalition presidential candidate due to our current political climate . This is why it was rejected by all sensible political strategists , analysts, pundits and politicians . It is a dumb idea. GDC is also floating such a lousy and dumb idea because they are not really serious about regime change .

  9. It is rather unfortunate that attempts are being made, not only to dampen the good mood that may be generated by this wonderful news, but also, to cast doubts on the credibility of the selection process to select a flag bearer, and this is being done by people who have all along given the impression that they want a single opposition candidate in this year’s Presidential Elections.

    The objective obviously, which is the only logical explanation I can think of, based on certain comments, is to preempt future discussions that would most definitely ensue, if their prefered candidates are not elected, as if there is a hidden fear, that despite claims of popularity, their prefered candidates may not win a contest of this nature.

    It is therefore understandable that questions about love, sincerity and genuine desires for change will be raised about those who wish to undermine this concerted opposition effort, at this very crucial stage..

    Whilst fears of discontent and disatisfaction with the outcome of the process and the chosen candidate may be genuine ( as elections are a contest between candidates favoured by different groups of people, and those whose prefered candidates lose may be disappointed with the choice ), these should not lead to voter apathy of any significance, if we are truly sincere about contesting under a unified opposition candidate and defeating the incumbent.

    At the end of the process, all should put their disappointments and disatisfaction aside, campaign and vote for the flag bearer to maximise the opposition’s chances to achieve our common objective.

    Furthermore, I find it very strange but quite revealing, that people who claim to believe and cherish the ideals of democracy, and profess respect for the democratic choices that others make, will come up with statements that would seem to suggest that they will not respect the outcome of the convention, if their candidate of choice is not elected.

    The fact that fantastic allegations of “self imposition” can be insinuated against a possible contender, in a free and transparent election, where every contestant is guaranteed equal number of voters/delegates, is indicative of attitudes that abound in this struggle, which have also been the biggest obstacles to achieving change, through collective action.

    For those who prefer Mr Adama Barrow (UDP) or Dr Isatou Touray (Independent), I would like to ask you this simple question:

    Would the win of any other contestant apart from these two, at the same contest, be acceptable to you…?

    • Bax , you have dodged my questions and went to make more speculations . Tell me or show evidence where pdois has advocated for convention ?
      To be honest with you , mr barrow and dr Touray are the two candidates which has chance to win in my view . Mama is a fraud candidate just like Donald trump . Halifa cannot win this election because he is not likeable and he do not have support base throughout the country . If pdois has the same support base like udp , I would support him .

    • Bax, this is the million dollar question. This is what makes me worried.

      People have to understand that the person who is elected at the convention is only a transitional leader. That person doesn’t represent any political party or political opinion.

      The coalition partners will have no problem accepting and supporting the outcome of their deliberations and process. It is the diaspora that will be the greatest concern.

  10. Max…

    I’m not asking whether you will support Mr Sallah or not…My question was : would you accept the election of any other contestant at this convention, apart from Mr Barrow and Dr Touray…?

    Why do you seek evidence for a fact that you know because you witnessed the events…? What is important here is that parties have agreed to hold a Convention to elect flag bearer, just like it was done in 2011, where Mr Hamat Bah was elected to lead the United Front.

    As for Mama Kandeh and his GDC, I am of the view that his emergence presents a Win-Win situation for the opposition.

    If he joins a united opposition, he makes us stronger, but if he decides to go it alone, he still increases our chance of prevailing because he will split the APRC vote, where the bulk of his support will come from, but despite this, he cannot win the election by himself…though, as the saying goes, “pigs may fly” and the unexpected may happen.

    I cannot seriously see hard core UDP, NRP & PDOIS voters abandoning an alliance candidate to vote for Mama Kandeh, or the majority of abstainers (who are most probably disillusioned opposition voters) preferring him to a united alliance flag bearer, unless folks like you refuse to support a winner other than your prefered contestant, which will lead to all sorts of pre-election problems for alliance parties.

    So, I hope we will all put our differences aside and rally behind whoever emerges as the elected candidate at the end of the convention.

    • The guy failed in offering a convincing ‘factorization’ of the reasons for his split with the Aprc and what he actually knows about the state of brutality and conspirations against Gambian citizens over his period of service to the brutal regime.

      Only intolerance had been demonstrated by some, when questions denoting doubts about Mr. Kandeh’s credibility in opposition coalition/ alliance/united front’s efforts were raised. His diehards online are likely to react with just one latin term……….., ‘AD HOMINEM’

      ‘Fishy!’; is the word. Let’s look forward to see it is not.

    • Bax , I believe mama kandeh is a fraud and his entrance into politics is designed to help Jammeh to continue to stay in power. Mama has no interest for regime change and he has no interest in solving the basic core problems for Gambians , that is human Rights violations and corruption. Mama has no moral value to lead our country. Mama is no different from Jammeh. His politics is based on deception , lies and tribalism. He is not openly talking about tribalism but mama is exactly like Jammeh as far as tribalism is concerned. He is worst candidate ever to run for presidency. Majority of his supporters are former enablers who has witnessed and participated either in human rights violations or constitutional entrenchment of the dictator . Mama kandeh can’t be trusted. He is another dishonest citizen who is here to deceive the population.

      • Our opposition political situation have now evolved to a point where it is dictated by time and circumstance. We either win the elections or we loose it.

        There is no turning back for any of the opposition political parties. They are now engaged in a marriage of convenience and political expediency.

        The national interest is superimposed; it is greater than any of our disparate party interest and loyalty. And surely it shall overcome.

        The door is still wide open for the GDC to participate in this democratic process of selecting/electing a single presidential candidate.

        If they fail to participate in this endeavor their rendezvous with destiny is certainly affirmed. They will be a footnote in the annals of Gambia’s opposition political history.

  11. Kandeh, in my view, is out to teach us the art of deception and hypocrisy. Fellows sceptic of the man’s opposition candidacy are been accused of trying to disunite the opposition instead of them trying to see through this GDC trick that only a baby should fall for.
    Hypocrisy, greed, hate, ethnocentrism and dishonesty have married for us to be in this ill-state of a state and country. Hope I am not correct in my views.

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