Gambia’s coalition tactical alliance collapses ahead of polls

Gambia’s coalition tactical alliance collapses ahead of polls

Gambian unity parties that joined forces to defeat the country’s former dictator Yahya Jammeh are falling apart ahead of next month’s parliamentary elections.

The group of seven parties is still having disagreements on a tactical alliance approach to file in candidates against the former ruling party and a new but dynamic opposition party led by a former lawmaker.

Gambia’s President Adama Barrow had held talks with the political leaders in a bid to keep them united.

A senior official in Barrow’s government told the AFP that they cannot reach an agreement on how to contest the parliamentary election.

AFP reported that one of the parties wanted 36 of the 53 constituencies to be reserved for them adding that they are parting ways.

The UDP, NRP and GMC led by three of the government’s ministers have teamed up to push the others to agree to a tactical alliance, much to the chagrin of the PDOIS party.

Candidates for the parliamentary polls started last week and in a few districts, coalition members have pitched candidates against one another, as they seek to find a deal before this week’s deadline.

Many of the supporters of the coalition fear that a disunity within the coalition may give ousted ruler Yahya Jammeh’s APRC party an upper hand to maintain its majority in the National Assembly.

APRC’s Yankuba Colley is confident that the party will maintain a majority but it only fielded 32 candidates out of 53.

Barrow was formerly a member of the United Democratic Party (UDP), the largest opposition grouping in the Jammeh era, but resigned to run as the coalition flag bearer.

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