No Complaints: It’s Democracy!

Friends, Alagie S. Darboe and Lamin Sanneh reps for Brikama North & South

Apparently, the outcome of the just concluded National Assembly election did not go down well with some Gambians who have been drumming up for the restoration of democracy in The Gambia. Nonetheless, the outcome of the election represents the decision of the majority which was made through a democratic process. Thus, their dissatisfaction with the result should be counted as their disappointment with the democratic outcome, but not with the process, which was democratic in all aspects.

In general, Gambians fought for democracy; therefore dissatisfied people have to accept any fallout. That is: the most familiar element of democracy is the majority mandate. In a democracy all important decisions, including elections, are made based on the votes of a majority that might not have time or intellectual capacity to grasp the issues at hand. In a democracy, political leaders depend on the election support of the majority, which they often acquire not through knowledge and abilities, but by making impression on people.

Despite these shortcomings associated with democracy, democratic decisions cannot be invalidated if the process is deemed democratic. In the case of The Gambia, the domination of parliament by the United Democratic Party was a natural result of a democratic process, in which every party has right to register and contest in the election that allows everyone above 18 years to vote.

Ironically though, most of those dissatisfied with present democratic giving are drawn from the proponent of independent coalitions. Thus, the legitimate question that needs to be borne in mind is whether the same level of dissatisfaction will be evoked if the proposed coalition MPs won the majority of seat? What was the ultimate aspiration of the proponents of the proposed independent coalition beyond winning majority of the seats to the disadvantage of Alliance for Patriotic Re-orientation and Construction and Gambia Democratic Congress?

In a democracy, individuals are not expected to be satisfied with democratic outcomes, and the disappointment of the minority with the outcome cannot alter the decision of majority either.

Alieu SK Manjang


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