3rd November, 2016
Council of Elders of The Gambia Welcomes Opposition Coalition Efforts Ahead of December Presidential Elections
The Council of Elders of The Gambia wishes to congratulate the election of Hon. Adama Barrow as the Presidential candidate for a united opposition on 30th October 2016. The COE acknowledges that all the opposition parties who participated in the selection process sacrificed their personal and party interest in the interest of The Gambia. The COE urges parties not yet participants to immediately join the coalition efforts and work with Hon. Barrow and team without any further delay. The COE encourages Gambians in the diaspora to emulate the political parties at home and to unite their efforts in fundraising and volunteering efforts. The COE notes that now the opposition flag bearer is selected the electoral campaign will require significant outlay of expenditures.
A unified opposition and the fielding of one candidate is a historic, groundbreaking and bold attempt to change the political status quo in the country where one person has been in power for 20 years. It has given a breath of fresh air to The Gambia’s political landscape where it is seen that more can be achieved by working together than working as a divided opposition. It will enable the efficient distribution and use of scarce resources and above all it will create a whole new political order which is better able to respond to the needs and cries of the current disillusioned, despondent and oppressed Gambian population. The COE therefore urges all Gambians to unite, support Hon Adama Barrow and the rest of the united opposition.
About the Council of Elders
The Council of Elders is a non-partisan group of influential Gambians representing a broad spectrum of the society to oversee the implementation of the roadmap strategic plan for peaceful regime change in The Gambia and for the restoration of a true and modern democracy that establishes and respects the rights of all citizens. The Council of Elders’ primary tasks are to:
i) engage pro-democracy political leaders in the Gambia to formulate a unified strategy for a peaceful return to democracy in the Gambia; ii) lead the pro-democracy movement’s international engagement effort; and iii) work with civil society organizations in the diaspora to engage in civil discourse with view to strengthen and revitalize civil society in the Gambia.
In the Gambian tradition, experienced individuals are expected to serve as guides and mentors to society. The COE will serve as a knowledgebase put to the disposal of the Gambian society to bring about a new Gambia democratic in nature, progressive in attitude and rich with culture and personal liberty, and free from want, disease and repression.