As the race for the finish line at Marina Parade draws closer, the main opposition UDP Party has announced it will present its presidential hopeful in Banjul next week.
Three other opposition parties have already made public their candidate of choice this spring.
It will be the first time The Gambia’s main opposition party will have a presidential nominee other than Human Rights Attorney Ousainou Darboe, who has been ‘unlawfully’ incarcerated for taking part in a protest demanding the release of a senior opposition member, Ebrima Solo Sandeng.
Party supporters said this is exactly what their longtime leader Ousainou Darboe and his colleagues expect of them.
Before going on a protest in April, Darboe advised all party deputies in his party’s executive to stay home.
“In case something happens, and we are not here anymore, the deputies will continue from where we stop,” the lawyer said.
The Gambia’s opposition is deeply divided but a primary to select a single flag bearer to challenge President Yahya Jammeh, who is seeking a fifth term, has taken ground. Previous coalition talks between the opposition parties, which boycotted the last local government polls, have failed.
Though its party leaders are jailed, the UDP has shown it has structure as it challenges the ‘mistreatment’ and ‘illegal’ detention of its members in Gambian prisons and conducting campaigns ahead of December votes.