There is a fundamental, albeit a significant, difference between UDP and PDOIS, and between Ousainiu Darboe and Halifa Sallah. PDOIS is a doctrinaire party; the types that revolve around a single individual, not unlike a cult, and was in style in the 1970s and 1980s.
The PDOIS type of parties theorize ideologies, which almost carry the weight of religion, and can easily change supporters into some type of fundamentalists, which so often leads to dangerous levels of political indoctrination.
The party leader, in this case, Halifa Sallah, is usually elevated to the pedestal of a guru; a teacher and his political opinions assume the weight of religious infallibility.
UDP is structured differently, as an orthodox political party, without a set doctrine, but with a party philosophy that is flexible and can easily adapt to changing circumstances.
Between Halifa Sallah and Ousainou Darboe, there are gaping differences in the way both run their political parties. The UDP leader, Ousainou Darboe, maintains a party that allows infusion of new ideas and rebellions, which underscores his loyalty to the truly tried and tested political models so prevalent around the world.
Mr. Darboe doesn’t pretend to be the paragon of knowledge, is open to the ideas and views of party supporters and allows shared power. Halifa, on the other hand, is a different animal altogether, and thinks he is the sole repository of knowledge, is intransigent in his belief system, too arrogant to tolerate dissent, too proud to admit that he really only knows so much, and that his ideas are not based on prevailing tried and tested political orthodoxy; but are merely his opinion.
And that says a lot about a party on the fringes of Gambian politics, for so long. Perhaps, if PDOIS changes leadership at the very top, the party will course correct into contemporary political thought, rather than remain stuck in an era that has long ago faded from political consciousness.