Dr. Isatou Touray is so ready for a victory in The Gambia’s December polls that she called President Yahya Jammeh “outgoing president,” in a televised national address on Saturday.
Touray, who is seeking opposition support for a coalition to swiftly win a critical winter election before a mid-November nomination dateline has urged opposition parties to maintain their principles but be strategic and compromise.
Her supporters said she is the strategy and the formula for a win.
President Yahya Jammeh has won an increasing percentage of votes since 1996 and the ruling party National Mobilizer and Organizing Secretary Yankuba Colley said he would win more than 90% of the votes.
Jammeh has faced increasing opposition to his rule and Touray’s emergence has already caused a vacuum with his popular women and youth vote agenda.
President Jammeh’s APRC party is already divided, after an expelled lawmaker from his party created a new opposition group to oust him.
In 2011, Jammeh said he was not going on a campaign. He was so sure of a win after coalition talks failed.
Renewed talks for a coalition are ongoing and a resolution from a youth-led talk recommended endorsing a non-partisan independent candidate to serve one term, while opposition parties vow for parliamentary and local government offices and prepare for the country’s 2021 presidential polls.
Jammeh’s popularity has decline and faced anger from Gambians after security forces used excessive force against unarmed opposition protesters and jailing senior members of the UDP party.
There are high hopes that the opposition will be going in for a non-partisan independent candidate. Last month, some opposition leaders made the call for a primary to have an independent candidate selected to lead a transitional coalition.
Dr. Isatou Touray has seen a wave of support and endorsement from politicians, the civil society and youth leaders including a former lawmaker with a deputy opposition national youth mobilizer.
Touray is very certain of a coalition victory and no doubt addresses Mr. Jammeh as “outgoing president.”