The PDOIS is said to have sent out invites to other opposition groups in The Gambia in hopes to reach consensus for a coalition that will take on President Yahya Jammeh in December.
Gambia’s oppositions have until early November to select a single candidate or have individual parties forced to run against Mr. Jammeh on their own.
Without a coalition, Jammeh is sure to finish the race to Marina Parade with a landslide over the deeply divided opposition.
Modou Nyang is a coordinator for the PDOIS in the Diaspora. He is hopeful that political leaders in the country will take his party’s invite serious and emerge with a positive resolution.
PDOIS have been advocating for an inter-party primary though some parties had discrepancies over “equal delegate representation” due to party sizes. Some opposition leaders opted for a non-partisan independent led coalition but positions have not shifted much, even with the emergence of Dr. Isatou Touray, a rights defender as an independent candidate.
“All options are open at this stage, or I suppose they are. Since we now have a declared candidate that does not belong to a party, the modalities to accommodate that would be devised,” Nyang said.
Presidential candidates in The Gambia must have at least 5,000 endorsements and the PDOIS proposed that those nominators be the voters at a primary.
The Gambia’s main opposition UDP said last week that it would first support a party-led coalition and if that fails, may endorse an independent candidate who will only serve two years or have its presidential hopeful run under the party’s platform.
But party-led coalition talks have always failed over leadership.
Nyang said anything below the constitutionally sanctioned 5 year term is dependent on the partners to agree but what is fundamental is that any coalition government would have to be a limited government concerned mostly with establishing a level playing field for multi party electoral contest.
PDOIS did not send representative to a youth-led inter-party coalition talk, which last months. Two other parties, GDC and NRP withdrew from the talks but a resolution from the mediation committee seeks a non-partisan independent candidate who will serve only one term.