Gambia’s coalition leaders are going public with their political rhetorics after an alliance of the eight parties that brought President Adama Barrow to power could not secure a deal to run for parliament as a unity group.
Gambia’s Agriculture Minister and PPP Leader Omar Jallow said they could not avoid seeking parliamentary positions on party tickets instead of a coalition because of Ousainou Darboe’s “blatant” refusal to have a coalition-led parliament.
Darboe is the Minister of Foreign Affairs and leader of the country’s then largest opposition UDP Party. His proposal for a tactical alliance, where parties only put up candidates in districts they are sure to win, was supported by two other ministers, Mai Ahmad Fatty and Hamat Bah, who are leaders of the GMC and NRP parties.
Party surrogates are busy inciting tribal politics and blaming party leaders. The leaders blame one another. So called analysts chimed in, picking on one politician or just anyone on social media from Sallah to Darboe, prompting President Adama Barrow to quickly call them to order.
Ultimately, the politicians rolled up their sleeves and turned on each other like rivals. PDOIS’ Halifa Sallah has threatened to expose individual party contributions to the coalition if his party continues to be accused of being anti-coalition.
Gambia’s opposition groups since 1996 found it difficult to join forces to oust former President Yahya Jammeh. The fracture deepened in 2006 after the failure of NADD.
Darboe is quite on the issue and currently in Europe where he accompanied President Barrow, who is seeking to sell the Gambia, which was politically and economically isolated for decades, as open for business.