An opposition leader in The Gambia, Henry Gomez said he does not believe an election will end President Yahya Jammeh’s rule since the West African nation has no second round of voting. Gomez though said his party the GPDP is willing to join a coalition if primaries are held to select a presidential candidate.
Gomez and the GMC’s Mai Fatty joined the UDP is previous alliances. With the introduction of new electoral regulations, Fatty has been consistent on an electoral boycott agenda but Gomez though not confident of ending Jammeh’s 22 year rule through polls is willing to partake in the December votes.
The GPDP leader told local FOROYAA Newspaper that the coalition flag bearer to be selected from the primary will serve for only five years after which each of the coalition partners will go back to their different parties and vie for office in new polls. However, another opposition leader, Dr Lamin Bojang of the NCP said the presidential nominee from the primary should serve only three months.
The new electoral guidelines are said to have created an imbalance between the rich and the poor to participate actively in the country’s politics and seek higher office. Opposition parties have refused to submitted audited finance reports to the electoral commission and the new changes saw hikes in registration and nomination fees for parties and their candidates, especially for presidency.
Many are not supporting the idea of going into elections in December with Jammeh saying it will only legitimize his rule and strengthen the new electoral changes, which they say are meant to create a one party state.
The Gambia’s opposition is deeply divided and inconsistent. In 2011, they boycotted parliamentary polls. Talks between parties for a coalition since 2006 continue to fail. GPDP’s Gomez, who does not meet the residency requirements to be selected as a presidential hopeful does seem to be heading for the polls even though he is aware of an eminent loss to Jammeh.