Gambia’s first independent female presidential candidate has denied pulling out of opposition coalition talks in the West African nation after her absence at a convention to select a nominee for a coalition emerged.
Touray, 61, was presented by her campaign team as unifier after party-led coalition attempts failed in 2006 and continue to stall since.
The gender activist said she remains committed to the unity of the opposition and has assured citizens of the tiny country, surrounded by Senegal on all three sides except for West where the there is a short strip of the Atlantic coastline, that she will support the outcome of the convention in hopes that nation that is home to the African rights commission will regain its democratic credentials.
The Gambia is scheduled to hold its presidential elections December 1. President Yahya Jammeh has been accused by rights groups of cracking down on opposition militants killing at least two ahead of the general election after rare protests erupted in the tightly controlled state.
Jammeh is said to have the backing of the country’s military, although he survived at least a dozen coups, the last of which was in December 2014 that saw an early morning raid by Diaspora dissidents being foiled by his loyalist within the presidential guard.