PDOIS

OPINION FROM THE PDOIS SECRETARIAT ON

MOHAMMED SILLAH’S OBSERVATION ON AGENDA 2016

By Suwaibou Touray, Administrative Secretary

We thank Mr Sillah for his opinion. This is precisely why we have put the agenda in the public space for discussion and input before opening the debate at the next congress on a motion to adopt its enriched version as the Manifesto of the party for the next electoral cycle. We owe a debt of gratitude to all those who take the time to share their opinions. This is what oils the wheel of democracy. Some contentions were substantive while others were peripheral. We will first deal with the peripheral aspects and then move to the substantive ones.

ON THE PERIPHERAL CONTENTIONS

1. On Attendance
“the Barrow Kunda meeting could have been well attended, but not perhaps for the reasons that Hon Halifa Sallah and Hon Sidia Jatta hoped for. The two comrades perhaps thought the people came because they are a sovereign people answering to the call of political leaders truly concerned about their sovereignty while the people came to have a glimpse at the latest show of non-conformist political oddity” wrote Mr. Sillah.

Mr Sillah’s contention is that the attendance is not a demonstration of support for PDOIS as a party.

For his information Wuli is a constituency where Sidia had never lost a seat since the establishment of the Constituency until he chose to join the non participation campaign in the last National Assembly and Council elections.

Secondly, the public notice issued before the rally indicated it was being held to launch Agenda 2016 and to celebrate the election victory of Menkeh Barrow, the Independent Candidate who won during the council elections. For your information the incumbent who refused to stand again for the APRC wrote the following letter:

Barrow kunda village
Wulli West District
URR
16th/03/2013

Administrative Secretary

APRC Bureau

Secretary General
PDOIS

Re:Resignation From APRC and Aplication for PDOIS Membership.

I wish to take this opportunity to convey to you my decision to resign from the APRC Party with effect from 23/02/2013.

For your information,i withdrew my support for PDOIS Prior to the 2010 Council By-Election and joined the APRC to stand as a candidate for the Election.I did so because of my thinking that I could contribute to National development under the APRC.Having served as a Councillor;i came to realise that I could not implement all the good ideas I gathered from PDOIS because of the way party authorities are exercised in the APRC.At the end of my tenure, I was almost at loggerheads with all the regional authorities because of my non partisan way of doing things to serve the interest of all without regard to party affiliation.
Finally, I could not blame them for being what the APRC wants them to be. I acknowledge that I was the misfit who made the wrong decision to abandon my party of choice.

I saw it wise to resign in good faith and go back to the party of my choice. I thank all those in the APRC who had confidence that i could serve the people through the party.

By a copy of this letter i wish to apply for PDOIS membership and hope that i will be able serve the party with greater conviction and determination.

Yours Sincerely;

————————————–
ALKALLY KEBBEH
Former Ward Councillor ,
SARE-NGAI

 

In our view PDOIS does have a large support in Wuli. Notwithstanding, we would like to acknowledge that the presence of a large crowd does not always signify a demonstration of political support. People may attend political rallies out of curiosity. hence it is his prerogative to attribute the attendance to any factor he desires. An opinion is an opinion. The important point for PDOIS is that we were not disappointed with the attendance and many of those who attended expressed their satisfaction. This is the most we could ask for.

2 AN AGENDA OR A MANIFESTO
Muhammed Sillah wrote: “  I am baffled over if the document is an Agenda or a political manifesto. A political manifesto, as most of you know, is a policy document, declaring a party’s ideological principles and outlining its policies and programs. An agenda on the other hand is a set of issues to be tabled for discussion or a set of urgent issues to be acted on. “

We are not sure whether Mr Sillah has a copy of the Agenda but it is stated in black and white that it is to be tabled for discussion as the prime agenda for discussion in the next Congress . Instead of restricting the discussion to party members we decided to put it in the public space for general scrutiny. Agenda 2016 is scheduled to be the first document to be tabled for discussion in our next congress. We hope its enriched version would be adopted to become the Manifesto of our Party in the next electoral cycle.

Ends

105 Comments

  1. Yankuba Jobe says:

    Well responded Mr. Suwaibou Touray!

  2. Lafia Touray la Manjul says:

    Hey guys, do you know that 2016 is a last chance for Halifa because he will be over aged after that. What this means is that there will be no coalition because Halifa will insist on his last chance candidacy at all cost to the nation. You just watch.

    Thanks

  3. Lafia Touray la Manjul says:

    In all fairness, PDOIS has more support in Wuli than all the other opposition parties since 2006. Initially it used be like UDP will have the more votes votes than PDOIS in a presidential election and PDOIS will have more votes in a parliamentary. But this changed in 2006 and since then PDOIS tend to have more votes in wuli than UDP but still behind the APRC in presidentially elections. This is only Wuli though and it does not change the fact that PDOIS is still a fringe party struggling to stamp a feet in mainstream politics.

    Thanks

  4. Lafia Touray la Manjul says:

    Can I say that I don’t find this response by Halifa’s boy boy addressing mr sillah’s concerns. I think PDOIS just felt like they needed to put out something hence, this mombo jombo.

    Thanks

  5. please i feel very proud when i see Gambia opposition posted on newspapers at any were. but i one thing i feel in my is when i see them standing on their own. with their big knowledge. as far as they that majority carry the vote, why do they not join together for over 20 years.this is very sad and disappointing to all gambian people.please i will be very grateful if they join together as one people with one voice.thank u all.

  6. A classical case of I cannot eat the “Cherreh” therefore I will throw sand in it so that no one else can eat it.

    Halifa is among the opposition leaders who are not barred by the age limit from contesting 2016 presidential elections. If there is an electoral process in which he is elected the opposition presidential candidate so be it.

  7. Lafia Touray la Manju says:

    Kamalo, you seriously UDP folks will support a Halifa Sallah candidacy after all the opposition he threw out against Darboe’s candidacy since 2001?? You are have a laugh.

    By the way; it was reported that Halifa had said that he rather have jammeh continue as president than to have Darboe as president. Just ask Tuuku Jallow of the UDP.

    Sword wielders don’t become chosen leaders themselves.

    Thanks

  8. Lafia, Halifa did not throw out any opposition against Darboe’s candidacy since 2001 because Halifa and Darboe are not members of the same political party. They are both leaders of different opposition political parties.

    However, Halifa may not have subscribed to a party-led coalition agenda for the same reasons as I and many others. If UDP had agreed to other forms of a coalition leadership besides a UDP party-led coalition agenda, I am sure we would have had a rectification and transformation government led by the honorable Ousainou Darboe.

    Honorable Darboe had put up a good fight and I would not put it beyond him to bring all his influence and guidance to support a coalition mechanism that will see one among the opposition leaders elected through any kind of process to represent all the opposition parties as the opposition presidential candidate for 2016.

    Honorable Darboe do recognize that this cause is greater than him as an individual, and the UDP as an opposition political party. I have no doubts that he has the conviction to guide this process.

    Lafia, you are just an individual member or supporter of the UDP, and in all honesty cannot speak for the entirety of the party and its membership. They may not have the same issues you have with Halifa.

  9. Lafia Touray la Manju says:

    Kamalo, you are out of touch. What Halifa is calling for is not the universal norm of building coalitions and UDP in that respect should continue to reject it regardless of what anybody says.

    If PDOIS was the biggest opposition party in country, nobody would have dared to talk about a bloody primary or convention none sense. The truth is Halifa and PDOIS sees Darboe as having stolen the show from them. You should have heard from Tuuku Jallow what Halifa was saying about Darboe in private.

    You are another clueless blind follower.

    UDP, hold your ground and provide us another candidate if Darboe is not qualified. We will follow him/her just like we followed and adored Darboe.

    Thanks

  10. Lafia Touray la Manju says:

    And by the way, Halifa should offer himself as a candidate because in 2006 and in reference to Darboe’s candidacy, he said he would not help anybody to become an elite. So he should himself ask people to help him become an elite.

    Also, given the protagonist approach he adopted towards the UDP over the years and his comment about jammeh to continue as president rather than having Darboe as president, he will not attract UDP votes even if he is chosen a united opposition candidate. Without UDP votes, will definitely not even be noticed in the race. So it is best for him to stay away in the national interest and perhaps maybe a coalition will be possible.

  11. Lafia Touray la Manju says:

    Just to make it clear; I have no personal issues with Halifa but I certainly have issues with his polarising politics which is by large responsible for the lack of opposition unity in The Gambia. This guy is advertently or inadvertently helping to prolong the regime in banjul and I am crossed about that.

    Thanks

  12. Lafia Touray la Manju says:

    And by the way, Halifa should not offer himself as a candidate because in 2006 and in reference to Darboe’s candidacy, he said he would not help anybody to become an elite. So he should not himself ask people to help him to become an elite.

    Also, given the protagonist approach he adopted towards the UDP over the years and his comment about jammeh to continue as president rather than having Darboe as president, he will not attract UDP votes even if he is chosen a united opposition candidate. Without UDP votes, he will definitely not even be noticed in the race. So it is best for him to stay away in the national interest and perhaps maybe a coalition will be possible.

    Just my thoughts

  13. Lafia, nobody is denying that the UDP has the largest number of opposition votes among the opposition political parties. Here we are talking about opposition votes and this is justifiable for the simple reason that the support base of the UDP comprises of those who formerly supported the old P.P.P and the defunct NCP as well as other opposition parties of the first republic. It is also true that many former supporters of these first republic opposition parties are also supporting the ruling party and government.

    As it stands in every presidential election those who support the ruling government and party outweighs by far the combined support base of the UDP party from the old P.P.P party, the NCP and other first republic opposition parties.

    To correct these deficiencies the UDP tried to build a party-led coalition with other opposition political parties namely the P.P.P, the NRP and the GMC. In all instances the results have been the same. The ruling party always emerged victorious.

    Therefore there must be something wrong here besides having the largest share of the opposition votes and building a party-led coalition with other opposition political parties.

    This is the problem that a united effort with all the opposition political parties under a no party led coalition can seek to answer. Under such a framework those who would not ordinarily vote for the UDP party for whatever reason and are supporters of the ruling party may be obliged to vote differently. It is such votes that would be taken from the ruling party that would tip the scales and make a difference.

    So, apart from the philosophical disagreements with a party-led coalition, it has not also worked practically on the ground. It is therefore unreasonable for you to accuse Halifa of denying Honorable Ousainou Darboe the presidency. I didn’t know that Halifa commands such a power.

    Are you assuming that if PDOIS at any point in the election cycle were part of a UDP-Led party coalition that would have made the difference? That if it was part of an UDP-Led party coalition would have helped Darboe win the presidency. Is this what this acrimony between UDP and PDOIS all about? If it is you are wrong. The dynamics at play here are far greater than merely building a party-led coalition.

    You can continue investing in your claims of a party-led coalition, as the universal norm of coalition building and that you would not budge an inch. You have a right to whatever you want to do. Please don’t try to blame others for the failures of the opposition parties.

  14. Lafia Touray la Manju says:

    The point is; ppl call for an all inclusive coalition and PDOIS have always been an obstacle to this.

    You said UDP led allaince have not succeeded, well it doesn’t lie in pdois’s mouth to say that because they have never been party of it. Also pdois’s brand of allaince always perform far worst and that means we are better of with a UDP led allaince for a start and then work on the rest of the problems.

    You said Halifa and Darboe do not belong to the Same party. Well may be that is one of the reason why you do not see joining a convention or primary with PDOIS because those are internal party instruments of selecting a candidate and UDP always have a convention at their congress.

    Bring out all the nice words in English. It won’t change the fact that a UDP led allaince is in line with universal norms of coalition formation between parties and that there is no reason or justification as to it should be forgone just because PDOIS happens not to be the biggest opposition party in the country.

    I know they always say Darboe stole the show and this notion about UDP vote been that of PPP and NCP is just that. As far as I know, the ballot boxes were painted yellow with UDP clearly written on then and Darboe’s photo pasted on all. Besides, NCP contested separately in 2001 and it doesn’t stop from getting the votes. PPP also allied themselves with NADD in 2006, it doesn’t stop UDP from getting the votes. In 2011 there was no PPP or NCP and it doesn’t stop UDP from getting most of the opposition votes. So kamalo go on and day dream for ever. I will give some applauds for that.

    Thanks

  15. Lafia Touray la Manju says:

    The point is; ppl call for an all inclusive coalition and PDOIS have always been an obstacle to this.

    You said UDP led allaince have not succeeded, well it doesn’t lie in pdois’s mouth to say that because they have never been part of it. Also pdois’s brand of allaince always perform far worst than a UDP led allaince and that means we are better of with a UDP led allaince for a start and then work on the rest of the problems.

    You said Halifa and Darboe do not belong to the Same party. Well may be that is one of the reason why you do not see Darboe joining a convention or primary with PDOIS because those are internal party instruments of selecting a candidate and UDP always have a convention at their congress.

    Bring out all the nice words in English. It won’t change the fact that a UDP led allaince is in line with universal norms of coalition formation between parties and that there is no reason or justification as to why it should be forgone just because PDOIS happens not to be the biggest opposition party in the country.

    I know they always say Darboe stole the show and this notion about UDP vote been that of PPP and NCP is just that. As far as I know, the ballot boxes were painted yellow with UDP clearly written on them and Darboe’s photo pasted on all. Besides, NCP contested separately in 2001 and it doesn’t stop UDP from getting the votes. PPP also allied themselves with NADD in 2006, it doesn’t stop UDP from getting the votes. In 2011 there was no PPP or NCP and it doesn’t stop UDP from getting most of the opposition votes. So kamalo go on and day dream for ever. I will give you some applauds for that.

    I am blaming Halifa Sallah for lack of unity in the opposition thanks to his polarising politics.

    Thanks

  16. Lafia Touray la Manju says:

    By the way, there was a none party led allaince in 2011 and it performed far worst than a UDP led allaince which had only one party (GMC) with a bare presence in the country at the time joining the UDP. Why didn’t those who would not have voted UDP all vote for that allaince and make them win if kamalo’s logic is to go by?? The problem with these PDOIS talibehs is that they always fly with crude logics with great enthusiast ism until they find out actually PDOIS got only 3 percent of the votes.

  17. You’ve got that right Kamalo, but I’m afraid, you’re up against a “brick wall” here…You might find that in this discussion,”hearsay” ( Tuku Jallow said so and so ) carries more weight than FACTS that are in the public domain…

  18. I think unity is the way out, the idea of a united front will not only show that Gambians are serious but more Gambians in and out of the country will open their check books to fund such a united front.

    I have said over and over again that we have to choose, elect and defend to stop fighting the old wars and put the interest of the Gambia first. Choose the most qualified, most influential amongst us to lead.

    We should not be naïve to think that there are no divisions in Gambian politics; Gambians are politically divided into opposing geographic, ethnic, economic, and other factions. Our main problem stems from these factions and the fear if I am analyzing this political impasse correctly is that other opposing parties are afraid that when UDP gains full power, it will seek to use government to advance itself at the expense of others.

    To me as the main opposition party UDP should take it upon its self to convince the smaller parties to join them. In my humble opinion UDP should initiate a unity convention either in Gambia or Senegal and ask the million dollar question ” knowing that we cannot all get what we want, what will it take to have a united front”

  19. Quote Lafia…..”The point is; ppl call for an all inclusive coalition and PDOIS have always been an obstacle to this….”

    Comment…That is.not quite true….PDOIS’ position,which is in the Public domain, calls for a strategic, non partisan, all inclusive opposition alliance to last for a specific period (one.term) and to be mandated to address specific political and governance issues mainly, whose flag bearer will not seek re-election or align him/herself to any party in any subsequent multi party election…

    It is the UDP that is insisting on a partisan (party lead) alliance to engineer itself into power, and thus, continue to perpetuate itself in power, if the same or “watered down” version of the corrupt, ruling party manipulated, dominated and controlled political environment continues…

    Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that this will change…Commitments of PDOIS to Institute revolutionary changes to this type of environment, are either dismissed as being “unworkable” or too complicated to be understood by ordinary people..(portraying them as less intelligent than pets like dogs, who can be taught and do learn…)

    The general, unwritten consensus, regardless of all rhetoric and what have you, seems to.be :…

    “Keep the people, as dumb and uninterested as you can”,so that you can ride on their backs for as long as possible. ..

    If Gambians want genuine and meaningful changes that address their concerns, they must reject all attempts to replace one clueless, self perpetuating “government” with another…Haven’t we had enough of that already..? 30 years of PPP and 20+ years of A (F) PRC..

  20. Lafia Touray la Manju says:

    Tuku Jallow is not just anybody. She is close to lawyer Darboe as a strong UDP Yai Compin. Bax don’t know what he is talking about.

    Malamin UDP had done what you just suggested in 2011 but it didn’t work. Maybe they should try again.

    Thanks

    • Lafia;

      what I am trying to get at is that, such a unity convention should be an open convention. Invite the press, all the political parties, the media and diaspora groups. This is a double edged sword; it will unequivocally show UDP is leading in an open forum. What this will do in my humble opinion is open the unity process so no one can say he said she said.

      I think the key is to allay the fears of the minor parties, if all parties are willing to move grounds and sacrifice some positions unity is possible.

      For instance, UDP can suggest to the minor parties that they are willing to pick a candidate that is not a member of UDP to lead a unity government for five years and that candidate will retire from politics.

  21. Lafia, what were the all inclusive coalition efforts that PDOIS always created an obstacle to?

    Apart from NADD, which was all-inclusive, all other coalition attempts were forged by the UDP on a party-led basis.

    The only other coalition effort forged was the United Front between PDOIS, NRP and GPDP. What this coalition effort demonstrates is that different opposition political parties can form a coalition, go through a primary process to pick a candidate among themselves and then commit that candidate to contest a presidential election as an Independent candidate.

    A memorandum of understanding was signed between these three opposition parties with a commitment to create a government of transformation and rectification. The very thing that you and others have vociferously argued in the Gambia-l and other forums that it is not possible.

    Some of you have even gone to the extend of arguing that it is not constitutionally permissible for an Independent candidate to stand as a presidential candidate. All to give validity to the notion that a presidential candidate can only be supported by a political party, and the party-led coalition formula is the only viable political mechanism through which a coalition of different opposition political parties can be effectuated. You have all been proven wrong.

    Now we have a precedence where different opposition political parties can form a coalition, go through a primary process to pick a candidate among themselves and commit that candidate to contest the presidential elections and stand as an Independent candidate. And this is what you are still arguing that it cannot be done.

    The other thing is the counterproductive argument of which among the opposition political parties have the most opposition votes.

    You have been counting your majority opposition votes now for three election cycles and it is not getting you closer to winning the presidency any time soon. It has now become superfluous reading this political narrative every election cycle that this opposition political party has the largest percentage of the opposition vote or the coalition of such opposition political parties did far worst than the party-led coalition of another opposition political group. This is just ridiculous.

    Are you content on denigrating parties like PDOIS with their 3% against your largest opposition party portfolio, and continue on contesting elections on your own or with a party-led coalition of “the opposition parties of the willing” and keep loosing every time?

    The argument against a party-led coalition is fundamental and is at the root of what we really want to create as a well-entrenched democratic culture and dispensation. Our political process is an evolving and dynamic reality, and I hope your party can be part of the guide to this evolution to bring about the best of our democratic aspirations.

    You are a lawyer and you know that hearsay is not admissible in any court of law and you keep parading this Tuku Jallow story. I am going hold you in contempt of the court.

  22. “Bax don’t know.what he is talking about..”

    Tell us then, how does “being close to Lawyer Darboe” turn someone into a close confidante of Halifa Sallah, to a point that they have access to his private conversation….

    Remember that Halifa is supposed to have said,in private, that Jammeh’s continued stay in power is preferable (to him ) than Darboe…

    I.do.not think (Mrs) Tuku Jallow was ever a “somebody” in PDOIS…May be PPP. .

  23. Lafia Touray la Manju says:

    Bax, all what you are saying about UDP’s desires or motives is mere speculation and a tick of your imagination. They are not written anywhere and are not evidently manifested anywhere.

    Look guys if PDOIS does not trust UDP, they must say so and let everybody know about it. They can keep using subterfuge to hoodwink people because it hasn’t work before and will never work.

    Thanks

  24. Lafia Touray la Manju says:

    Bax, all what you are saying about UDP’s desires or motives is mere speculation and a tick of your imagination. They are not written anywhere and are not evidently manifested anywhere.

    Look guys if PDOIS does not trust UDP, they must say so and let everybody know about it. They can’t keep using subterfuge to hoodwink people because it hasn’t work before and will never work.

    Thanks

  25. Lafia Touray la Manju says:

    Another point to clarify on from Bax’s comment; UDP have actually agreed to a five transition PDOIS proposed and also the point the presidential candidate will serve only one term and will not seek re-election or support another candidate, also PDOIS proposals. These are written all over the place and even OJ Jallow acknowledge it.

    Now, let Bax tell us what UDP position did PDOIS accept as a matter of compromise and consensus building? Soon all will know which party is the problem.

    Thanks

  26. Lafia Touray la Manju says:

    Kamalo, I wish I studied law and but no I studied a different discipline.

    On the issues though, you are only repeating what PDOIS have been saying all alone. There is nothing new and I am tired of repeating the same answers. PDOIS have exhausted its game plans and are now stuck with old lines which are not moving the debate anywhere.

    By the way; can you tell us one single UDP position that PDOIS accepts as part of compromise and consensus building??

    Malamin, I entirely agree with your proposed approach but with PDOIS and Halifa, it isn’t gonna work. This is my personal. It’s worth trying though.

    I think if PDOIS don’t trust UDP, they should be bold enough to say that and provide reasons rather than saying in the ghettos “they rather have jammeh continue as president than to have Darboe as president”. That is definitely a disgusting statement and should be condemned.

    Thanks

  27. Lafia Touray la Manju says:

    Another point Kamalo, I am not on G-l don’t confuse me with people just because our arguments are similar as I am not confusing PDOIS supporters just because they all speak from Halifa’s textbook.

    Thanks

  28. Lafia Touray la Manju says:

    Bax, Gambia is a small country and the population is very homogeneous too. Tuuku Jallow is from Banjul and she is well connected. She has reasons for saying what she said and if I was her or somebody close to the UDP leadership, I will ask them to come forward with a statement on the matter. As you will appreciate, that is a matter for them, not me. I nonetheless have 100percent confident that tiki said something that has been murmured around town for a while now.

    Thanks

    Thanks

  29. It is obvious to all observers that there is a general willingness within The Gambian Opposition,to form an alliance and present a United challenge to the APRC. ..This is based on the understanding, across the board, that no single party can ever defeat the APRC on its own, given the nature of our politics and the environment, as well as, the vice like grip that the APRC has over the entire process….

    The bottlenecks, as far as can be seen are….;

    (1)…The nature and form of this alliance…;
    (2)…The manner of selecting a flag bearer…;
    (3)…The mandate of the alliance, if elected…

    The positions of the two camps ( UDP & PDOIS), as well as the reasons advanced,are well publicised and known…

    Whilst the UDP calls for an alliance under a UDP banner (and government, headed by a UDP Candidate and President if elected), whose mandate will be to implement a UDP programme of reforms (amongst others), the PDOIS proposed a non partisan alliance, headed by a leader whose sole mandate would.be.to implement the alliance’s programme of rectification, supervise elections and hand over to the winner… (whoever that may be)…This is indisputable…

    To claim, therefore, that PDOIS has always been an obstacle to alliance efforts,is to substitute facts before us, with fictions and imagination of one’s own prejudiced mind…

    Much has been made about “Primaries”, as if this is the major contentious issue between PDOIS and UDP….The fact that PDOIS was willing, and is probably still willing, to ditch the holding of “Primaries” to select a flag bearer, does suggest that it is not the major obstacle that some are making it to be…

    I think.the biggest sticking point is the nature of the alliance, it’s mandate and its “life span”…

    That is what needs to be discussed, rather than distortions and fabrications that serve no purpose whatsoever. ..

  30. Quote Lafia…

    “Bax, all what you are saying about UDP’s desires or motives is mere speculation and a tick of your imagination. They are not written anywhere and are not evidently manifested anywhere…”

    Comment…They don’t have to be written but it’s there and as clear as “black and white”…

    Firstly, the political system that has been practised in The Gambia,ever since “Multi-party Democracy” was adopted, is “tailor made” for Self Perpetuation…The PPP perfected and used it without any fear of losing a general election,until they were deposed…

    The APRC exploited it and is using it to win elections after elections…So the ingredients for “Self perpetuation” are already firmly established..

    Secondly, when a party signs up to a Memorandum Of Understanding aimed at dismantling those “ingredients” and ending “Self perpetuating” rule, then withdraws from it by offering feeble excuses and refuses to sign any subsequent MOU,you begin to suspect the obvious…

    Thirdly, when that party turns around, in the next cycle of.elections, questions the rationale of some.of.the things it had previously signed up to in the MOU, and refuses to be bound by any commitments (again giving feeble excuses),you know that your suspicions are well founded…

    This is why I feel.that the UDP will fall into.the trap of self perpetuation, if it’s alliance proposal were to be adopted..

    Obviously, you don’t understand the nature and the significant difference between the “transition” proposed by UDP and the one by PDOIS, otherwise, you won’t be.making these comments…I.suggest you take time to study both again…

  31. Lafia Touray la Manju What makes you arrogant, think you know better than us and think you are only Gambian citizen here? Save us using Kairo news as your PERSONAL PROPERTY, natural habitat, peddling false information, rumour mongering, hate campaign, bigotry, malicious sanders and deviating from ISSUES? Wonder never ends.

  32. For UNITED NATIONAL FRONT (for dissidents & opposition parties) “MERGER OF POLITICAL PARTIES” and same as NADD blueprint and framework; WHY UDP DOES NOT SUBSCRIBE TO IT? Those who think you knew better please forward right here FLAWS OF NADD MOU; if you have any and how best it could be addressed if you have better proposal.

  33. Lafia Touray la Manju says:

    Bax, UDP did not propose any transition. It was PDOIS who proposed a transition and UDP accepted it. They must have studied. All you are doing here is fabricating stuff about UDP positions. There is no factually basis to anything you said about UDP positions so far. You formed a theory in your head and that is what you are bringing out. Nothing else.

    By the way; you still can’t tell any UDP position that PDOIS accepted as a matter of compromise and consensus building. That says it all.

    Thanks

  34. Lafia Touray la Manju says:

    Mr Jallow said while he was abroad from 11 September to 21 November, a lot of things were written about his position and involvement in the opposition alliance talks.

    “Now I want to clear the air. I attended four of the opposition meetings summoned by the UDP.There were four proposals; a UDP-led coalition, an NRP-led coalition, a national convention propagated by PDOIS and a coalition led by Ousainou Darboe but not under the banner of any party proposed by Landing Jallow Sonko. After the second meeting, Ousainou made it clear he would not be able to contest under any other banner except the UDP and Landing Jallow withdrew his proposal. During these meetings, I tried to convince all the opposition leaders to support the UDP-led alliance proposal for the following reasons:

    First, we were negligent in waiting for four years and nine months before consulting each other, so time was very much against us.

    Second, the fact of the matter was that in 1996, 2001 and 2006, Darboe had more votes than any other opposition candidate.

    Third, because of time and resource constraint, it would be more cost-effective and practical if we support the UDP after they made concrete recommendations acceptable to me. They said if we have a UDP-led alliance government, the leader will serve five years, retire and not support any candidate; that the government he or she will form will be inclusive of all parties in the alliance and that all decisions will be taken consultatively.

    At the third meeting, Hamat Bah said he had consulted his membership and that while those in the Diaspora allowed him to partake in any coalition, those domiciled here demanded he must lead any alliance he takes part in. Halifa Sallah talked to his guns and started promoting his Agenda 2011. “

    Disingenuity
    Mr Jallow said he believed“it was unnecessary for Hamat to propose anything but join a UDP-led alliance because that was his position in 2006 and that was what he used to pull Darboe out of NADD and form a UDP-led alliance. In his own words, ‘in politics, you talk about numbers’. Since nothing has changed in the equation I do not see why the shift in his position. And about Halifa’s talk about conventions and primaries, my political experience informs me that that is applicable within a single party where more than one person is interested in leadership not in a coalition of parties.

    “After the fourth meeting when I knew there will be no single candidate to represent all opposition parties, I decided to withdraw from the negotiations and allowed a member of my party to sit in the negotiations with the specific instruction that we’ll only campaign for a single candidate and that our support for the UDP was premised on that. I told them otherwise we will not support or campaign for anyone because it will be waste of time, energy and resources. But that if they agree on a single candidate, I had an open ticket and would be back in The Gambia within 24 hours to campaign. They did not and I returned to The Gambia 72 hours before election day and cast my vote for the candidate I supported.”

    Lost opportunity
    The populist Serekunda politician and famous minister in the First Republic continued: “It was a lost opportunity for us. If we had banded together, we would not only have been in a good stead to wrest power from the APRC but the momentum we would have generated would have propelled us to get a minimum of twenty seats in the National Assembly elections and that would have stopped impunity in the country. Now I am appealing to the leaders of all the opposition parties to come back to the drawing board and form a truly united from for the parliamentary elections. The issues that unite us are greater than the issues that divide us. I am devastated. I am appealing to the opposition leaders to learn from the serious and dismal lessons [of the presidential elections]. If we fail to do that, then all the opposition leaders in The Gambia will be living on the wrong side of history.”

    “See the rest of OJ’s interview in our Monday edition.” The Standard Newspaper”

    This proved that bax was lying when he suggested the UDP candidate was going to perpetuate himself in power. As stated above, he was in fact going to step aside after five years and not support any candidate in the subsequent election. Isn’t that not PDOIS have being calling for ever since Halifa Sallah published his Agenda 2011???????

  35. Mr Jallow said while he was abroad from 11 September to 21 November, a lot of things were written about his position and involvement in the opposition alliance talks.

    “Now I want to clear the air. I attended four of the opposition meetings summoned by the UDP.There were four proposals; a UDP-led coalition, an NRP-led coalition, a national convention propagated by PDOIS and a coalition led by Ousainou Darboe but not under the banner of any party proposed by Landing Jallow Sonko. After the second meeting, Ousainou made it clear he would not be able to contest under any other banner except the UDP and Landing Jallow withdrew his proposal. During these meetings, I tried to convince all the opposition leaders to support the UDP-led alliance proposal for the following reasons:

    There were four coalition proposals according to OJ namely:

    1. A UDP-led coalition

    2. An NRP-led coalition

    3. A National Convention proposed by PDOIS

    4. A NON-PARTY coalition led by Ousainou Darboe

    First, we were negligent in waiting for four years and nine months before consulting each other, so time was very much against us.

    Second, the fact of the matter was that in 1996, 2001 and 2006, Darboe had more votes than any other opposition candidate.

    Third, because of time and resource constraint, it would be more cost-effective and practical if we support the UDP after they made concrete recommendations acceptable to me. They said if we have a UDP-led alliance government, the leader will serve five years, retire and not support any candidate; that the government he or she will form will be inclusive of all parties in the alliance and that all decisions will be taken consultatively.

    At the third meeting, Hamat Bah said he had consulted his membership and that while those in the Diaspora allowed him to partake in any coalition, those domiciled here demanded he must lead any alliance he takes part in. Halifa Sallah talked to his guns and started promoting his Agenda 2011. “

    Disingenuity
    Mr Jallow said he believed“it was unnecessary for Hamat to propose anything but join a UDP-led alliance because that was his position in 2006 and that was what he used to pull Darboe out of NADD and form a UDP-led alliance. In his own words, ‘in politics, you talk about numbers’. Since nothing has changed in the equation I do not see why the shift in his position. And about Halifa’s talk about conventions and primaries, my political experience informs me that that is applicable within a single party where more than one person is interested in leadership not in a coalition of parties.

    “After the fourth meeting when I knew there will be no single candidate to represent all opposition parties, I decided to withdraw from the negotiations and allowed a member of my party to sit in the negotiations with the specific instruction that we’ll only campaign for a single candidate and that our support for the UDP was premised on that. I told them otherwise we will not support or campaign for anyone because it will be waste of time, energy and resources. But that if they agree on a single candidate, I had an open ticket and would be back in The Gambia within 24 hours to campaign. They did not and I returned to The Gambia 72 hours before election day and cast my vote for the candidate I supported.”

    Lost opportunity
    The populist Serekunda politician and famous minister in the First Republic continued: “It was a lost opportunity for us. If we had banded together, we would not only have been in a good stead to wrest power from the APRC but the momentum we would have generated would have propelled us to get a minimum of twenty seats in the National Assembly elections and that would have stopped impunity in the country. Now I am appealing to the leaders of all the opposition parties to come back to the drawing board and form a truly united from for the parliamentary elections. The issues that unite us are greater than the issues that divide us. I am devastated. I am appealing to the opposition leaders to learn from the serious and dismal lessons [of the presidential elections]. If we fail to do that, then all the opposition leaders in The Gambia will be living on the wrong side of history.”

    “See the rest of OJ’s interview in our Monday edition.” The Standard Newspaper”

    “This proved that bax was lying when he suggested the UDP candidate was going to perpetuate himself in power. As stated above, he was in fact going to step aside after five years and not support any candidate in the subsequent election. Isn’t that not PDOIS have being calling for ever since Halifa Sallah published his Agenda 2011???????”
    Reply

    Lafia, I wonder why Ousainou did not accept the proposal from Landing Jallow Sonko to lead the coalition but not under the banner of any political party. This was the winning proposal. All the others would have supported it. Not to mention the assurances or recommendations that UDP made to OJ that were acceptable to him and would also have been acceptable to the others.

    But for some reason Ousainou decided to defer to the most contentious proposals that were on the table namely a UDP-led coalition or an NRP-led coalition.

    Landing Jallow Sonko’s proposal was neutral based and it has taken into consideration all the other factors that OJ highlighted as the basis for supporting a Darboe candidacy under the UDP-led proposal.

    It is not surprising that the UDP want to support a UDP-led coalition and the NRP want to support an NRP-led coalition and PDOIS does not subscribe to either.

    Why would Darboe want to form a government under the banner of the UDP (udp-led coalition ), but would not want to form the same government under the banner of no political party as proposed by Landing Jallow Sonko?

    Herein lies the fundamental issue this is at the core of all these disagreements. The nature of the government that is to be formed.

    When a candidate is elected under a political party that candidates political party is elected to power. The constitution gives that elected person the mandate to govern on the programs, policies and objectives of his political party. Moreover this candidate under our political system is also directly elected by the people and can only be removed from power by the people.

    Likewise, if the candidate would have contested under the no party proposal by Landing Jallow Sonko there would have been no constitutional basis to govern on the programs, policies and objectives of any other political party. The MOU and other agreements that supported this candidacy would have been the basis to guide any programs, policies and objectives.

    The question is: Why would Darboe refuse the latter in support of the former?

    I will come back to the other issues. .

  36. “This proved that bax was lying when he suggested the UDP candidate was going to perpetuate himself in power. As stated above, he was in fact going to step aside after five years and not support any candidate in the subsequent election. Isn’t that not PDOIS have being calling for ever since Halifa Sallah published his Agenda 2011???????”
    Reply

    Lafia, I wonder why Ousainou did not accept the proposal from Landing Jallow Sonko to lead the coalition but not under the banner of any political party. This was the winning proposal. All the others would have supported it. Not to mention the assurances or recommendations that UDP made to OJ that were acceptable to him and would also have been acceptable to the others.

    But for some reason Ousainou decided to defer to the most contentious proposals that were on the table namely a UDP-led coalition or an NRP-led coalition.

    Landing Jallow Sonko’s proposal was neutral based and it has taken into consideration all the other factors that OJ highlighted as the basis for supporting a Darboe candidacy under the UDP-led proposal.

    It is not surprising that the UDP want to support a UDP-led coalition and the NRP want to support an NRP-led coalition and PDOIS does not subscribe to either.

    Why would Darboe want to form a government under the banner of the UDP (udp-led coalition ), but would not want to form the same government under the banner of no political party as proposed by Landing Jallow Sonko?

    Herein lies the fundamental issue this is at the core of all these disagreements. The nature of the government that is to be formed.

    When a candidate is elected under a political party that candidates political party is elected to power. The constitution gives that elected person the mandate to govern on the programs, policies and objectives of his political party. Moreover this candidate under our political system is also directly elected by the people and can only be removed from power by the people.

    Likewise, if the candidate would have contested under the no party proposal by Landing Jallow Sonko there would have been no constitutional basis to govern on the programs, policies and objectives of any other political party. The MOU and other agreements that supported this candidacy would have been the basis to guide any programs, policies and objectives.

    The question is: Why would Darboe refuse the latter in support of the former?

    I will come back to the other issues. .
    Reply

    nb sorry about the earlier posting.

  37. Bax QUOTED & THESE ARE GERMANE TO CORE ISSUES THAT MUST BE PROPERLY DIGESTED AND FOR COMPREHENSION;

    “The bottlenecks, as far as can be seen are….;

    (1)…The nature and form of this alliance…;
    (2)…The manner of selecting a flag bearer…;
    (3)…The mandate of the alliance, if elected…

    The positions of the two camps ( UDP & PDOIS), as well as the reasons advanced,are well publicised and known…(UDP not bulging on its “Party-led” position which is unacceptable and rejected by PDOIS for an equitable common ground; grand coalition or united national front and regarded under The Gambia constitution as “MERGER OF POLITICAL PARTIES”)

    Whilst the UDP calls for an alliance under a UDP banner (and government, headed by a UDP Candidate and President if elected), whose mandate will be to implement a UDP programme of reforms (amongst others), the PDOIS proposed a non partisan alliance, headed by a leader whose sole mandate would.be.to implement the alliance’s programme of rectification, supervise elections and hand over to the winner… (whoever that may be)…This is indisputable…

    To claim, therefore, that PDOIS has always been an obstacle to alliance efforts,is to substitute facts before us, with fictions and imagination of one’s own prejudiced mind…”

    Additional to points highlighted above by Bax, these are relevant;

    (4)…Political platform for registration of The Presidential candidate…partisan or non-partisan…;
    (5)…Under what banner …(for UNITED NATIONAL FRONT);
    (6)…MOU & PACT…..…

    As far as PDOIS is concern primarily and fundamentally the common ground especially “merger of political parties” are raisons d’être of its policies under 2006 NADD, 2011 United (National) Front, G6 and consistently towards 2016. PDOIS cannot be hoodwink or bullied to linger behind any political party; because they are proud of their sovereignty, credibility, dynamism & political prowess.

    Now these are the ISSUES, PROGRAMMES, POLICIES, STRATEGIES & TACTICS to focus on and not the false statements peddled here.

  38. Quotes from Lafia….

    (1)…”This proved that bax was lying when he suggested the UDP candidate was going to perpetuate himself in power….”

    Comment.. Your knack for twisting what someone said to suit you and then.make a bold statement on the basis of this twisted “understanding;” and the tendency to argue against yourself, is what made me suspect that you are the same person who used to contribute under the name “gambian”, on Jollofnews. ….The style is unmistakable. . .

    I did not say that the “UDP candidate” was going to perpetuate himself in power…What I stated was that “the UDP (as the governing party) will perpetuate itself in power”…

    You need to clearly understand what someone said before you make statements like above…

    It is quite evident that Lawyer Darboe may step down, under this UDP proposal, but the UDP will still be in power and will continue to win elections after elections, because the system it will inherit, is “tailor made” for that…No amount of cosmetic “reform” will change that…

    ( 2)…..” Bax, UDP did not propose any transition. It was PDOIS who proposed a transition and UDP accepted it…”

    (3)…. .”There were four proposals; a UDP-led coalition, an NRP-led coalition, a national convention propagated by PDOIS and a coalition led by Ousainou Darboe but not under the banner of any party proposed by Landing Jallow Sonko…”

    (4)…. “They said if we have a UDP-led alliance government, the leader will serve five years, retire and not support any candidate;….”

    Comment…..The impression that is given by quote (2) is that the UDP conceded to PDOIS’ demand for a transitional arrangement, but quote (3) refutes that claim….According to quote (3), these proposals were all made at the same meeting…No one made any concessions…Quote (4) corroborates my claim that the UDP offered a form of transition that is not the same as the one proposed by PDOIS…..

    The UDP Proposal is only a personality change….The UDP remains in government and in control of the whole process for the ensuing elections, with a stake and vested interest in the outcome…

    The PDOIS Proposal terminates the “life” of.the transition government, after it has (successfully) overseen the political and governance reform programme and held elections, in which it has NO stake and NO vested interest….Do these two look and mean the same to you.? I hope not…

    Hon.OJ, like anyone,is entitled to his opinion and he is highly qualified to speak on most matters of National concern, especially political ones…I respect his views and I’m sure many do too…

    However, what we mustn’t forget is that “Primaries” are just political mechanisms/tools for selection of candidates, where more than one show interest to occupy a leadership position…It is true that in most cases where this mechanism is utilised, it is done so within a single party context, but there are no “hard” and “fast” rules that restricts it’s usage to this context…It can be used, and has indeed been used successfully, within a Multi- Party context. ..So.that is.a very weak argument. ..

    Moreover, imagine a villager (interested in the village Alkaloship) arguing that election, through adult suffrage to elect the new Alkalo, is not suited within a single village context because this is mostly used within a Nationwide context, even though one or two neighbouring villages have successfully used it….

    Won’t he be laughed at if he turns round and demands to.inherit the Alkaloship because he is the only candidate whose family has a long standing tradition of holding the position…? Of course he should be laughed at…Similarly, this notion that “Primaries” are only suited for single party use should be.laughed at…

  39. HIGHLIGHTS OF “PDOIS’ PROMOTION OF NON PARTISAN UNITY” SALIENT POINTS EXTRACTED AS QUOTED;

    “……….The lesson became clear in 2001; that as long as politics in the Gambia was reduced to a combat between pro coup and pro restoration camps, we would remain in this vicious cycle until all players headed to the grave or the country splits into warring factions headed by warlords, as we now see in Libya.

    PDOIS has never sought power for itself since the coup. It had always advocated that a transitional government was necessary that was not allied to any of the two camps, which would build a country that all sides would be proud of and would find secure to live in without any fear of victimisation or revenge.

    We thought that the lesson had been learnt when we were approached, after our National Assembly electoral victory in 2002, to coordinate the formation of an Opposition alliance. We accepted the role even though PDOIS was in the ascendancy and had nothing to gain as a party by joining an opposition alliance. We accepted it only in the National interest and kept our word up to the end.

    To ensure that we had an Alliance that would not be the property of any given party, and whose Presidential candidate would not be identified with any given party , we established NADD to try and seat a- one- term leader, like Nelson Mandela, who would preside over a coalition government that would put in place a genuine Republican Constitution, electoral laws and an independent Electoral Commission, ensure financial discipline in public administration and public enterprises and preside over free and fair elections. We agreed that if the leaders were divided in their selection, we should go for a Primary as had recently happened in Venezuala. We were the first to propose such a popular mechanism for determining the candidature of an alliance. NADD would have been the first in the world to do this.

    NADD won more by- elections than the APRC and was ahead in the popular vote. After all these victories, NADD should have gone on to make its provincial tours, but some leaders blocked any movement unless we selected a Presidential Candidate. The impasse in the selection should have led to a primary, as conducted by the United Front in 2011. However, some did not wait for a primary, or request for others to step down, as we did to make the United Front have a candidate. NADD borrowed heavily from the PDOIS leadership to maintain its headquarters, conduct rallies, finance post by- election expenditures and conduct other administrative activities. Instead of PDOIS elected National Assembly members focusing on their constituencies, they focused their resources, energies and time to consolidate NADD. Unfortunately, some leaders simply deserted. Who then was an obstacle to unity?

    PDOIS leadership was marooned in NADD since two members of its leadership, who originally won their seats as PDOIS Candidates, eventually stood as NADD candidates and won. After the desertions, they could not become PDOIS National Assembly members again without losing their seats and head for another expensive by -election.

    Hence NADD had to go on despite its fractured clout due to the desertions. It was however embarrassing for NADD to collapse because of desertions. Hence the process continued. A member of the PDOIS leadership was unanimously selected to be the Presidential Candidate. Mr Lamin Juwara was made Campaign Manager.

    Mr Omar Jallow and Mr Ganyie Touray were supposed to handle the North Bank. PDOIS repaired two PPP transports for the North Bank. The first blow was the desertion of Ganyie Touray and the loss of one transport we had repaired. Mr Omar Jallow was also flown to UK because of illness. The northern flank of our electoral battle collapsed before we even started.

    Observing that NADD as an Alliance had no resources of its own to launch a Presidential Campaign, and the selection of a presidential candidate was just in pursuit of a process required by the memorandum of understanding which was too late in the day to reverse, the NADD candidate requested for authorisation to negotiate with the UDP leader and that was accepted in the hope that he would propose to come back to NADD and convey his terms. After many efforts, it became clear that returning to NADD to renegotiate candidature was not an option, when the NRP leader, who was an ally of the UDP leader, made that clear at a press conference in the US.

    The PDOIS leadership seconded to NADD met and agreed to put PDOIS ‘ funds at the disposal of NADD and further made plans for a strategic withdrawal to allow a two way presidential race should we hit the campaign trail and discovered a cold reception from the electorate.

    NADD’ flag bearer hit the campaign trail only once and had a reception that gave every indication that it was a force to reckon with. However, the campaign was marred by the hostility of the NADD campaign manager to the UDP leadership that expelled him from their party. Hence, when the UDP campaign team followed NADD’S trail, the war of words between the two political adversaries intensified.

    For a while, it appeared that NADD had the upper hand in terms of reception during the tour.

    However, when we returned to base and started to prepare for the elections, it became clear that we had lost the battle before we started. What we had always hidden from the record is that the base that Mr Lamin Juwara relied on to do his mobilisation was the traditional base of the ex-Head of state which he had previously mobilised in support of the UDP.

    We do not know whether the information we received of the powerful person who asked all those people to abandon NADD is correct or not, but what is evident is that most of NADD organisers and their families in CRR began to put APRC flags at their gates. We later received information that our host in Brikama Ba, where we slept during our tour, had an APRC flag at his gate, which we confirmed.

    Because of time and resource constraint and hesitation to defer with the campaign manager, we ignored our own constituency that could not understand our rapprochement with PPP. Neglecting our own constituency, thinking that their support was already assured, while concentrating on the Campaign Chairman’s campaign trail, when our own constituency had mobilised themselves to receive us, but never saw us, resulted in their alienation and drove them into political apathy. They later blamed the PDOIS leadership for playing into the hands of people who would be happy to see us fail. We had to do a lot of apology and explanation afterwards to get them to understanding what a united front was and why it was necessary as a transitional arrangement aimed at building a genuinely democratic multi party system, which would enable the people to have sufficient information about candidates and their programmes to be able to make informed choices. This was why we could get many of them on board when we launched Agenda 2011.

    The 2006 Presidential election was a disaster. We ended with 6 percent of the votes and UDP had 27 percent. More than forty percent of the registered voters did not vote.

    PDOIS stayed in NADD to contest the National assembly and Local Government Elections. Hostilities among the opposition parties were the order of the day. NADD called for Tactical Alliance so that one opposition candidate would contest each seat but it was rejected. Opposition parties put up candidates in Constituencies where other opposition parties and Independent candidates had comparative advantage to win. In many constituencies the combined opposition had more votes than the APRC. The opposition came up with only five seats in 2007.

    THE FURTHER DISINTEGRATION OF NADD

    During the National Assembly elections, we received information that Mr Juwara was assisting the APRC Candidate in his Constituency. His party later left NADD and initiated a rapprochement with the APRC.

    FURTHER DISINTEGRATION OF THE OPPOSITION CAMP

    Before the 2011 Presidential Election, strong candidates, like Rambo from the camp of the UDP, and strong allies of OJ, like ML Touray and Pa Sainey Jallow who followed him to NADD, also made open attacks on the opposition and disserted to the APRC.

    OPPOSITION UNITY AFTER NADD

    It was clear to us that opposition parties could no longer be brought under one umbrella party to contest Presidential elections. However, PDOIS felt that what we had not tried is to introduce two rounds of voting for the opposition to prevent a split in the votes in an electoral system based on “first past the post” or simple majority of votes to win. This is done by introducing primary elections to select one opposition candidate. After the National Assembly Elections, we proposed that all political parties go on the ground to work, for a reasonable period before the 2011 Presidential election, and then a primary could be held to select one Presidential Candidate to serve one term under a coalition government and hand over office to an elected president under a genuine multi party system. This became a very popular view among the electorate.

    As the 2011 elections drew near all opposition parties responded to a UDP invitation for Unity talks. The UDP invited other parties to endorse the candidature of its Presidential candidate in exchange for a coalition government comprising all opposition party representatives. Only the PPP representative supported this option. PDOIS proposed that the best way to select a flag bearer and still be able to maintain everybody on board was to agree for the Presidential Candidate selected through a primary to serve one term and build a genuine multi -party system rather than institutionalise the domination of a party after being supported by other parties. Since the UDP would not concede to such an arrangement, a motion was introduced and endorsed by all parties except the PPP and the UDP. All the parties which endorsed the motion formed the United Front.

    The GMC representative initially supported the United Front but its leader later condemned the move and joined the UDP led coalition.

    The United front opened up its primary to non party members and one male human rights lawyer participated while a female lawyer declined. PDOIS declined to put up a Candidate to give the process integrity. Delegates of the parties voted through secret ballot and Mr Hamat Bah won. There was no doubt that if GMC had participated, the male human rights lawyer who was somehow linked to the GMC, would have stood a great chance in being elected as flag bearer. It goes without saying if PPP and UDP had joined, the results might have been different and the selection of a one term presidential candidate might have made the opposition a more formidable force. PDOIS made all these sacrifices to make unity possible. Who then could accuse PDOIS of being an obstacle to unity that is principled?”

  40. Lafia Touray la Manju says:

    Bax, Darboe already had a meeting with Sidia before UDP convened this meeting. In that meeting with Sidia, UDP discovered PDOIS’s positions and investigated the rationals behind them. At the end they decided accommodate pdois’s transition proposal and the conditions attached to it and presented it a part of their final proposal for coalition. This is what Darboe said in a press conference of 17th October 2011;

    “Concession

    But it is quite obvious, he said, that their position was one of a party led and they have argued and will continue to argue that the accepted norm throughout the world is that when parties are coming together to form an alliance, it is the party with the majority that takes up the leadership and lead the other parties in the alliance and contest the election.

    Mr. Darboe noted that the UDP has accommodated in their proposal, the 5yr transition and all the attendant conditions that PDOIS articulated in their Agenda 2011. Notwithstanding this, those calling for a convention to select a flagbearer were still not inclined to accommodate any element of UDP’s proposal, he added. He also indicated that he respects other views but that they did not see anything wrong with their view.

    Addressing Concerns

    Darboe asserted that some have said that a party led alliance can or would lead to the withering away of the constituent parties and they have responded to say that what they have agreed upon is that when they (UDP) win election, the media will be opened to every party and that even when an alliance Government is in office, all the other parties will have access to the media to sell their programmes and convince the people on the viability of their policies. He said it is not as if one is leaving everything until at the end of the five years and then one opens the media. “So where is the withering away of the constituent parties?”, he asked. And again he said during National Assembly Elections, parties will field candidates in constituencies where they have more supporters than others and in this way, he said, even during the transition, parties will make their presence felt.

    Darboe asserted that probably those calling for a convention will arrange a convention among themselves- those allegedly agreeing to a convention and he said he is using the word allegedly very adversely notwithstanding the signing of the press release by all parties because he is not sure if NRP is supporting a convention- so that the consultation will be between the convention candidate and the UDP.

    Darboe asserted that it is not time for the opposition to engage in a debate because the Gambia has a problem that is solvable by what they have put forward and that they do not say that it is the only solution, but it is a solution that is reasonable and universally accepted.”

    Thanks

  41. QUOTING KAMALO ABOVE WHY UDP IS NOT INTERESTED IN A “UNITED NATIONAL FRONT” OR GRAND COALITION PER SE; IN SPIRIT OF NATIONAL UNITY & SOLIDARITY; OWNED BY OPPOSITION FRONT (I.E DISSIDENTS & OPPOSITION PARTIES ON EQUAL FOOTING, RIGHTS & SOVEREINGTY); FOR COMMON GOAL, COMMON GROUND, ONE UMBRELLA, ONE BANNER, SLOGAN & BATTLE CRY; FEASIBLE THROUGH “MERGER OF POLITICAL PARTIES” THAT CAN BE LEGALLY REGISTERED UNDER THE GAMBIA CONSTITUTION & ELECTORAL LAWS;

    “Lafia, I wonder why Ousainou did not accept the proposal from Landing Jallow Sonko to lead the coalition but not under the banner of any political party. This was the winning proposal. All the others would have supported it. Not to mention the assurances or recommendations that UDP made to OJ that were acceptable to him and would also have been acceptable to the others.

    But for some reason Ousainou decided to defer to the most contentious proposals that were on the table namely a UDP-led coalition or an NRP-led coalition.

    Landing Jallow Sonko’s proposal was neutral based and it has taken into consideration all the other factors that OJ highlighted as the basis for supporting a Darboe candidacy under the UDP-led proposal.

    It is not surprising that the UDP want to support a UDP-led coalition and the NRP want to support an NRP-led coalition and PDOIS does not subscribe to either.

    Why would Darboe want to form a government under the banner of the UDP (udp-led coalition ), but would not want to form the same government under the banner of no political party as proposed by Landing Jallow Sonko?”

    TRUTH IS PREVAILING OVER FALSE POLITICAL PROPAGANDA & HOODWINKING!

  42. Lafia Touray la Manju says:

    Kamalo, as far as I know, it was the UDP executive that instructed Darboe to represent the UDP in that meeting and to sell the party’s proposal to others. So I can see why Darboe would not like himself to be the subject of the discussion.

    Also, Oj did not state Darboe’s reasons. So I am not going to speculate and nor should you.

    Even if he accepted that proposal, UDP can still reject it .

    In any case, Hamat Bah stood on a none partisan platform. How comes UDP led allaince had more votes then if indeed UDP led allaince is the problem?? Your sums are not adding up my friend.

    Thanks

  43. Lafia Touray la Manju says:

    Statement by Mr. Ousainu Darboe on his meeting with Hon. Sidia Jatta at Bundung on Sunday 7th November, 2010

    On Sunday 7th November 2010 Mr. Kemesseng Jammeh accompanied me to meet with Mr. Sidia Jatta to discuss with him the United Democratic Party’s (UDP) proposal for a united opposition front to contest the next three cycles of elections. When I met Mr. Jatta I was under the impression that I was meeting him not in his capacity as National member for Wuli West but as the person designated by PDOIS to deal with inter- party matters. I had previously been informed by Mr. Jatta that he was the person to deal with on matters touching on party relationships. This was after my failed attempts to reach Mr. Sallah the spokesperson for NADD and Secretary General of PDOIS.

    I was very direct in presenting the position of UDP on the selection of a candidate for the 2011 presidential race. I reminded Mr. Jatta that a primary which is very central in the Agenda 2011 is conducted amongst aspiring candidates that belong to the same party. Holding of a primary for aspiring candidates from different political parties is bound to create disunity amongst the parties and the whole purpose of creating a formidable united front will be defeated. Since the elections are fast approaching, there may not be enough time to repair any damage that is caused in the process by aspiring candidate trying to win support. Such a situation I said could be exploited by opponents.

    I then made the point that the well known norm for the creation of an opposition alliance is for the majority party to lead and others throw behind that party. In my bid to disabuse Mr. Jatta’s mind about my personal ambition to contest the 2011 presidential elections, I expressed disappointment that whenever the UDP makes a proposal for a party led alliance the focus shifts to OUSAINU DARBOE in wanting to be the candidate for the alliance. I told him that I am realistic to recognize the fact that a lot of things can happen that would prevent any one from contesting the next presidential election. I said to him that I could step out of his house and then drop dead; that I could be struck by ailment that could render me physically or mentally unfit to contest any election. So the focus should not be on me but on the concept of a party led alliance.

    I want to make it clear to every Gambian that the views I express on the issue of an apposition united front are views of the UDP. I do not advocate for such and an alliance because I want to position myself to lead.

    In the course of the discussions I questioned Mr. Jatta on the rationale for imposing a condition on a successful all opposition alliance presidential candidate not to contest elections or support any candidate for election at the end of what is described in Agenda 2011 as a transitional period. The UDP has always advocated and will continue to advocate for a two year term limit. I told Mr. Jatta that the imposition of such a condition to my mind calls into question the integrity of the person who is selected by the alliance as a candidate. I made it clear to him that for the UDP such a condition suggests that the person so selected will not abide by the accepted rules and that he would only perpetuate himself in office. I made it clear to him the UDP will not consider such a person fit to be selected as an all opposition alliance candidate because there is some latent doubt that when elected to the office of president he will not honour his commitment to ensuring that all parties operate in a level playing field. Mr. Jatta in reply said that the stipulation of such a condition was not putting into question the integrity of any person who might be selected as an all opposition alliance candidate but that such a person would have an advantage over others. I took my enquires further and asked Mr. Jatta what this advantage(s) might be but he could not say.

    The discussion on NADD was a reminder to both of us that the decision to register it should not have been taken. At this point Mr. Kemesseng Jammeh then intervened to say that the UDP advised against registration of NADD but the advice was not heeded. Mr. Jatta said a merger of political parties could have been registered but I pointed out to him that there was no clause at that time in the constitution of any of the parties that allows for a merger.

    Mr. Jatta said if he was around at the time he would have suggested that all parties convene an extraordinary congress to amend their constitutions and insert a clause for mergers so that NADD could be registered without any problem. This was the only occasion and it was only in this context that the word “Extraordinary” was used.

    Mr. Jammeh intervened again and asked how candidates for National Assembly elections will be elected under Agenda 2011 proposal. Mr. Jatta replied that this could be done on the basis of party strength in the constituencies. With that response from Mr. Jatta, I said to him if one can apply the principle of party strength to selection of National Assembly candidates why not for the selection of a presidential candidate.

    Mr. Jatta did not give any direct answer to my enquiries. He said that for the interest of this country he is flexible. I then said this statement is re-assuring and comforting. I repeated these three times and on the third occasion Mr. Jatta said when he said he was flexible he was just stating his personal position and not his party’s. I again said even with that I felt assured and comforted.

    I met Mr. Jatta and presented him proposals for PDOIS/NAAD consideration. Therefore Mr. Jatta could not be waiting for me. Rather I was waiting to hear from him. I did not commit myself to the holding of any meeting of the executive of the UDP whether regular or extraordinary to discuss the adoption of Agenda 2011by the UDP. It is simply incorrect that any individual’s candidature was in issue. The discussions were focused on the concepts of Agenda 2011 and a party led alliance

    When I subsequently reported to the National Executive Committee of the UDP on the discussion I had with Mr. Jatta, I impressed on all members of the committee that since we were engaged in consultation with Mr. Jatta, it will not be in keeping with tradition for any one of them to disclose to any member of our party or for that matter to any other person the content of my discussions with Mr. Jatta. But then I did not realize that whilst I was urging members of the U.D.P not to divulge to the public the contents of my discussions with Mr. Jatta, he was in fact taking steps to represent to Gambians and others that my consultations with him centered on Agenda 2011 and the promotion of my candidature. This representation is simply not correct.

    Before we went into the discussion/consultation proper, I told Mr. Jatta that I had personally refrained from talking to the press on what I believe to have been the reasons for NADD’S disintegration or impediments for the creation of an all opposition alliance because I do not want anyone to take comfort in what some describe as “opposition squabbles”. The UDP has in the past ignored comments and statements to which it can legitimately react unless there is compelling reason to do so. Mr. Jatta’s statement in the Foroyaa issue of 6-7 December 2010 is one such compelling reason.

    The UDP has not accused anyone of foot dragging and any suggestion that the UDP is engaged in foot dragging is simply misrepresenting UDP’s position. The efforts made by the UDP between 19th October 2010 when Mr. Jatta was in Wuli and 6th November for me to meet with him speak volume of its commitment to the idea of a united opposition to rescue The Gambia. UDP will continue with its consultation with all opposition parties so that a robust and formidable united opposition will emerge to unseat the incumbent. UDP hopes that PDOIS/NADD will be part of this united opposition.

    The opposition elements in The Gambia must approach the problems of this country with seriousness. We must avoid publicity just for its sake. Tempus fugit. We should not allow time to run out on Gambians.

    A.N.M Ousainu Darboe

    Secretary General & Leader UDP

    United Democratic Party Secretariat

  44. Lafia Touray la Manju says:

    Bax, I hope you can now see how the UDP arrived at that final proposal Oj just spelt out. Now, you tell what position of the UDP did PDOIS accept as a compromise or consensus building effort??? I have asked this question three times now.

    Thanks

  45. Lafia Touray la Manju says:

    Bax, I hope you can now see how the UDP arrived at that final proposal Oj just spelt out. Now, you tell us what position of the UDP did PDOIS accept in this coalition issue as part of a compromise and consensus building effort?? I have asked this question three times now still no answer.

    Thanks

  46. Lafia Touray la Manju says:

    I think if PDOIS hate UDP this much or have no trust in them at all, they (PDOIS) declare that they want a coalition but not one that includes the UDP. That way, the nation can sleep in peace.

    Thanks

  47. Lafia Touray la Manju says:

    I think if PDOIS hate UDP this much or have no trust in them at all, they (PDOIS) should declare that they want a coalition but not one that includes the UDP. That way, the nation can sleep in peace.

    Thanks

  48. Lafia Touray la Manju says:

    “When a candidate is elected under a political party that candidate’s political party is elected to power. The constitution gives that elected person the mandate to govern on the programs, policies and objectives of his political party.”- kamalo

    Which section of the constitution says so. Don’t be like bax who forms theories in his head and then throw them out here without any factual basis.

    As a matter of fact, it was the coalition agenda that would been carried through just like what the Tories and the Liberal democrats are currently doing in the UK.

    Bax, UDP would have only continued if people vote for them. That can be said of all the other parties since they would have all been in government at the time of the election unless they choose to resign. Remember, elections are always held before the actual end of the 5 yr term, not after.

    Thanks

  49. Lafia Touray la Manju says:

    “The PDOIS Proposal terminates the “life” of.the transition government, after it has (successfully) overseen the political and governance reform programme and held elections, in which it has NO stake and NO vested interest….Do these two look and mean the same to you.? I hope not…” Bax

    Nobody on this planet is in a position to claim he/she have read or heard PDOIS say that under their proposal, PDOIS or the leading party in the coalition will not seek re-election or support any candidate after the transition period. What they clearly stated over and over was that the successful candidate will not seek re-election or support any candidate in a subsequent election, and that was exactly what UDP has adopted in their final proposal.

    Bax, stop manufacturing stuff in your head. PDOIS have written a lot about its position and Darboe’s statement above covered this matter.

    Thanks

  50. Purported claims from “Statement by Mr. Ousainu Darboe on his meeting with Hon. Sidia Jatta at Bundung on Sunday 7th November, 2010”

    ALL THESE PARAGRAPHS QUOTED IF PROPERLY SCRUTINISED IS ADDRESSED BY KAMALO ABOVE! SOME OF US UNDERSTAND THE ISSUES VERY WELL ;

    1. “The discussion on NADD was a reminder to both of us that the decision to register it should not have been taken. At this point Mr. Kemesseng Jammeh then intervened to say that the UDP advised against registration of NADD but the advice was not heeded. Mr. Jatta said a merger of political parties could have been registered but I pointed out to him that there was no clause at that time in the constitution of any of the parties that allows for a merger.

    Mr. Jatta said if he was around at the time he would have suggested that all parties convene an extraordinary congress to amend their constitutions and insert a clause for mergers so that NADD could be registered without any problem. This was the only occasion and it was only in this context that the word “Extraordinary” was used.

    Mr. Jammeh intervened again and asked how candidates for National Assembly elections will be elected under Agenda 2011 proposal. Mr. Jatta replied that this could be done on the basis of party strength in the constituencies. With that response from Mr. Jatta, I said to him if one can apply the principle of party strength to selection of National Assembly candidates why not for the selection of a presidential candidate.

    Mr. Jatta did not give any direct answer to my enquiries. He said that for the interest of this country he is flexible. I then said this statement is re-assuring and comforting. I repeated these three times and on the third occasion Mr. Jatta said when he said he was flexible he was just stating his personal position and not his party’s. I again said even with that I felt assured and comforted.”

    2. “UDP will continue with its consultation with all opposition parties so that a robust and formidable united opposition will emerge to unseat the incumbent. UDP hopes that PDOIS/NADD will be part of this united opposition.”

  51. Lafia Touray la Manju says:

    I ask the question again; which position of the UDP has PDOIS so far accepted as a far of ensuring a compromise??? Anybody???

    Yes, they ditched a primary the last time but they substituted it with another position of theirs, a convention after realising that primary is not practicable at all. It took them bloody 2 yrs to realise this.

    In essence, PDOIS wants everything their way and I find that utterly incomprehensible.

    Thanks

  52. Alagi Gassama says:

    The problem with Ousainou Darboe is that, he does not see PDOIS as a group that are bitter, angry, and jealous of the emergence and rise of UDP as a party spoiler. PDOIS will never in their existence accept the UDP, never, ever, no matter what anyone says, no matter how anyone analyse the events. PDOIS has been in politics some 8 years before the UDP come about. And they see all their mind-bending analysis failed to capture any tangible support, the blame they lay squarely in the doors of the UDP. Ousainou Darboe going in a meeting with Sedia to discuss way forward is noble, but he failed woefully to realise that, Sedia is a pawn in Halifa chest. Sedia does not say anything that Halifa did not approve, and Sedia leaking the gentleman discussion was typical Halifa spoiling any hope of genuine mutual agreement. You cannot agree without first talking. PDOIS will continue to play to the gallery so long as they have the full understanding that, on the ground, they are fringe. What else can they do apart from media arguments and posturing? Nothing really.

  53. Lafia Touray la Manju says:

    I agree with you Alagi Gassama. Darboe should learn his lessons on this point.

    Thanks

  54. Lafia Touray la Manju says:

    “We are back to the same old arguments. This is really a lost cause.”- Kamalo

    Kamalo, Inaata kunung Layla Imang Jang Kuu Long. UDP supporters are smart people and we don’t buy cheap talk or crude logics. You will be pushing your luck quite hard if you think you can hoodwink any of us here with subterfuge borrowed from PDOIS leaders.

    Thanks

  55. Mr Gassama knowing what you said, it is going to take leadership to overcome what ever obstacle lies ahead.

    The point of education is not endless arguing but finding solutions. I bet if we spend half of our energy brainstorming we would have come up with a solution.

    The opposing parties’ fear that when UDP gains full power, it will seek to use government to advance itself at the expense of others is a legitimate fear. It is incumbent on UDP to ally these fear. Whoever takes the mantle of leadership from Darboe should make it a priority to galvanize opposition.

    I don’t envy the person who takes over from Darboe; he or she has to overcome the difficulties of uniting Gambians to see that lack of unity is what is causing the illegal arrests, detentions without trials and extra judiciary killings and not to mention rampant corruption by a leader who runs a nation singlehandedly.

    Politics, campaigns, negotiations and battles are nothing but a long series of difficulties to be overcome. A real leader displays his or her quality in his/her triumphs over adversity, however great it may be.

  56. priority to galvanize the opposition

  57. Suwaibou Touray says:

    Oj said by the time he was around there were four coalition proposals:

    1. A UDP-led coalition

    2. An NRP-led coalition

    3. A National Convention proposed by PDOIS

    4. A NON-PARTY coalition led by Ousainou Darboe
    Thank you for this most important debate. I hope it is not deviating you from the PDOIS Agenda 2016.I am however surprised to read that Mr Darboe had accepted the number four proposal. What i remembered Darboe saying was that even if he died, it is UDP that should select a candidate for the UDP Led Alliance. The other thing is that Darboe was opposed to putting any agreement on paper or sign any document for that matter. He said we should just trust and accept that he would carry out the reforms AS HE IS A GENTLEMEN. OJ should have also added in his narration that by the time he left only the PPP supported the UDP Led Coalition proposal; that even the GMC at the time supported the Convention proposal. He should not hide the fact that Darboe rejected any type of arrangement which is not UDP led alliance and candidate. This is why he rejected Landing Jallow Sonko’s proposal for A NON-PARTY coalition led by him. And for OJ he simply goes into discussions and get the points of other players and run out to inform the Diaspora his position and while leaving others to trash out for themselves, to accept or not to accept his position and if his position is not acceptable by all parties he then stays outside and do anything, not even to work with those who accept his position, but would simply to content with the name of PPP in the UDP/PPP/GMC COALITION,ETC.And if there is no success after the election, he would then disassociate himself with everything and apologize on behalf of all the opposition that they have failed the people. This is his way of bringing people and parties together? And is it not perplexing to rely entirely on such a person’s narration of events?

  58. History and Political Science Students know that governments often act according to the interest of overbearing majorities rather than according to principles of justice. In other to prevent any group from gaining full power and seek to use government to advance itself; proper systems of governments with checks and balances should be instituted among men because the passion of man will not conform to the dictates of reason and justice, without constraints.
    UDP has to realize that Gambians have experienced two back to back self serving types of governments and it is this fear that is stopping some Gambians from embracing a party led coalition. In an ideal world a party led coalition can work but Gambians are weary of a party led coalition because no one wants another PPP or APRC style of governance where the playing filed is not level.
    What I cannot understand is that if UDP is sure that it can win future elections why not agree to a A NON-PARTY coalition led by one of its members.

  59. Lafia Touray la Manju says:

    “Oj said by the time he was around there were four coalition proposals:

    1. A UDP-led coalition

    2. An NRP-led coalition

    3. A National Convention proposed by PDOIS

    4. A NON-PARTY coalition led by Ousainou Darboe

    Thank you for this most important debate. I hope it is not deviating you from the PDOIS Agenda 2016.I am however surprised to read that Mr Darboe had accepted the number four proposal.”- Suwaibou Touray

    Suwaibu Touray, I think you need to do yourself a favour by not misrepresenting this debate. Nobody said anywhere that Darboe accepted proposal No. 4. As the lead UDP supporters’ speaker here, what I said was that Oj did not state what Darboe’s reason for not going for Landing Jallow Sonko’s proposal and that I wasn’t going to speculate. I also urged Kamalo, a PDOIS fanatic, not to speculate either since he too doesn’t know the facts.

    I also went on to show that the issue is irrelevant for the following reasons;

    1. There was a none party led allaince in place and it performed worst than the UDP led allaince at the polls. Therefore, the notion that there is an option out there that is better than a UDP led allaince is a fallacy and does not subsist in facts or in evidence.

    2. Even if Darboe had accepted proposal 4 ( we don’t know whether or not he opposed it as there is no detail on that), UDP can still reject it.

    3. In any case, neither PDOIS nor NRP expressed any support for proposal 4. So what is your fuss??

    4. According to OJ, pdois’s representative in the meeting, Halifa Sallah, was sticking to his Agenda 2011, i.e proposal 3, and never relented.

    Therefore, neither PDOIS nor NRP had any interest in proposal 4. Why then two yrs later you want to make a point about that? This is the kind of hood winking that makes people like me disgusted about PDOIS. If PDOIS is ditching agenda 2016 for proposal 4 above, please make us informed so that we can find out from our party whether or not there are issues around that too. One thing is clear; the UDP cannot be hoodwinked.

    I even wonder whether any serious discussion took place around proposal 4 as there is no detail surrounding the matter unlike all other proposals.

    Nevertheless, I have not read anything about Darboe’s purported opposition to proposal 4 and the rational behind any such opposition but we clearly can see why Darboe would not have liked to become the subject of the discussion because he was representing a party in the meeting and his duty of fidelity to that parties requires that he represent the best interest of the UDP in the meeting rather than the interest of his personal self and avoid apparent or actual conflict of interest. That is what conscientious political leaders do.

    We are not interested in Agenda 2016 as it is of no difference to Agenda 2011 which was roundly rejected. Hamat Bah only supported it because he show a clear opportunity to become a candidate since UDP was not in the equation. In principle, he is oppose to it and deadly hates Halifa Sallah to bits. You know that anyway.

    Thanks

  60. Lafia Touray la Manju says:

    “UDP Led Alliance. The other thing is that Darboe was opposed to putting any agreement on paper or sign any document for that matter. He said we should just trust and accept that he would carry out the reforms AS HE IS A GENTLEMEN.” Suwaibu Touray

    My Touray Kunda brother, now you are lying to your teeth. Excuse my language but there is no other way of putting it.

    1.UDP proposal definitely in writing and Darboe himself wrote a letter to all the parties about the meeting;

    2. Since his meeting with Sidia in 2010 which is before the coalition meeting of 2011, Darboe have refused any emphasis to be placed on him or his candidature. He always maintain that he represent UDP and it’s about a UDP led allaince. So any agreement would have been considered by Darboe as a UDP agreement with other parties rather than his personal contract with some effing opposition leaders.

    3. By all accounts including those of Halifa Sallah and Sidia Jatta, PDOIS was inherently opposed to the UDP proposal. So you cannot come here and make it look like UDP had refused to write things down that’s why there was no agreement. The proposal was in black and white for heaven sake and all the parties read it before they even came to the meeting.

    4. There was no agreement anyway and that means there was nothing to write down as a coalition agreement.

    5. However, there was a final communique at the end of the talks and this was signed by all the parties including the UDP.

    Lying does not pay. I am sorry that I am putting things strongly like this but that is what is it. You, Suwaibou Touray, are blatantly lying to your teeth here. Let’s debate issues with honesty. Darboe’s integrity cannot be impugned by cheap lies. He is already well made in Naini Dobo and Bansang.

    Thanks

  61. Lafia Touray la Manju says:

    By the way, can Suwaibou Touray state to the esteem readership any element of UDP proposal that was/is acceptable to PDOIS.

    Any a way of engendering compromise, we know that the UDP after been briefed about the outcome of the meeting between Darboe and sidia, had accommodated pdois’s 5 yr transition proposal and also their position that a successful candidate will not seek re-election and would not support any candidate in a subsequent election. OJ has confirmed this. My question is; what did PDOIS accept in the UDP proposal in return???

    Suwaibu, no lying please. This forum is widely read by decent people.

    Thanks

  62. Lafia Touray la Manju says:

    “OJ should have also added in his narration that by the time he left only the PPP supported the UDP Led Coalition proposal; that even the GMC at the time supported the Convention proposal.”- suwaibu Touray

    Again, this not strictly true. The GMC was all along in support of a UDP led allaince. What happened later was that Assan Martin , close associate of the GMC leader, told the Gmc delegation that he had received instruction from the Gmc leader to advise to to switch support from a UDP led allaince to agenda 2011. The representation was a falsehood. The delegation however, acted on it but when they discovered that Assan had lied to them, they immediately restore their support for a UDP led allaince.

    NRP too was opposed to agenda 2011 throughout. It was not until shortly before the signing of the joint statement, after the meeting had effectively ended and the UDP delegation was no longer at the table that Hamat changed support for agenda 2011. The UDP only discovered this at the point of signing the joint communique.

    Also, you said UDP was opposed to all arrangements except a UDP led sllaince. Well that can be said of PDOIS as well since they too were opposed to every arrangement except agenda 2011.

    There is nothing you can spin here brother suwaibu. Just back off before you inflict much harm on PDOIS because your propensity to manipulate facts is doing no good to PDOIS ‘s credibility. You can be taken on. So be aware!!

    Thanks

  63. “Kamalo, as far as I know, it was the UDP executive that instructed Darboe to represent the UDP in that meeting and to sell the party’s proposal to others. So I can see why Darboe would not like himself to be the subject of the discussion.”

    Lafia, at this point it will only be an academic exercise to have these exchanges for we have profusely debated on these issues over and over again now and in the past. It has now become apparent, and indeed if your views and position truly reflects the views and position of the UDP party, that the UDP has one and only one overriding interest in this whole coalition talk and that is to form the next government.

    When it comes to coalitions, however, this is and should be a different matter. That is why there were four proposals on the table. But it seems UDP came to that coalition talk with a preconceived notion of what it wants and there was nothing to change that perspective.

    It wouldn’t surprise me if Darboe had accepted the Landing Jallow proposal and the UDP executive rejected it. It would not have aligned with their overriding interest of forming the next government.

    Hamat Bah stood on a non-partisan platform and have less votes than Darboe who stood on the UDP-led alliance and have more votes, but they all lost to the ruling party candidate who had the most votes.

    Reply

  64. “When a candidate is elected under a political party that candidate’s political party is elected to power. The constitution gives that elected person the mandate to govern on the programs, policies and objectives of his political party.”- kamalo

    “Which section of the constitution says so. Don’t be like bax who forms theories in his head and then throw them out here without any factual basis.” Lafia

    Do you then want to tell me that when the UDP is elected to power through a UDP-led coalition they will use the PDOIS manifesto to govern?

    It is an established fact that governance is completely different from politicking. The realities that are inherent in governance may not be the same realities that one confronts while politicking. The reason why candidates can tell you one thing when they are seeking political office, but will say and do a complete different thing when they actually occupy that office. So we are not only forming theories in our head but actually seeing those theories implemented as a governing reality.

    We argued that if the UDP presidential candidate is elected to power through a UDP-led coalition the UDP also comes to power. It becomes the ruling party government. It guides and dictates its governing policies, programs and objectives. It may or may not honor any agreements it has agreed to with other parties and will not suffer any undue consequences for its actions.
    .
    We also argued that under our political system a president is directly elected by the people and can only be remove from power by the people. The president has the prerogative to chose those who will serve in his government. He controls the agenda.

    We have also argued that we have a political structure and culture that makes it possible for ruling political parties to continue winning elections after elections thus perpetuating themselves in power. And we have the evidence to back it; 30 years of the P.P.P. and 20 years and counting of the present ruling party.

    So all our arguments against a party-led coalition are facts born out of the Gambian political reality, a reality that we want to change by offering other proposals that will take the country on a different path. Where then are we going wrong?

    Thanks

  65. ” There was a none party led alliance in place and it performed worst than the UDP led alliance at the polls. Therefore, the notion that there is an option out there that is better than a UDP led alliance is a fallacy and does not subsist in facts or in evidence.”

    Mr Touray the point of an all inclusive alliance is a united front. Do you remember the Euphoria that greeted Darboe in Brikama during the lunch of UDP? A united front will incite such an elation, happiness, excitement, relief, hope, joy and the energy. The energy, resources/funds of the opposition in and out side the country will be at the disposal of a united Gambian opposition presidential candidate. APRC is scared of one thing and one thing only a united front, it have been proven beyond reasonable doubt that no individual party can defeat APRC

    Mbolo Moi Dolay

    I think it is high time we sit with our selves and put Gambia first and party loyalty second. This goes for both PDOIS and UDP militants

    Lets share ideas instead of endless arguments.

  66. Lafia Touray la Manju says:

    “When it comes to coalitions, however, this is and should be a different matter. That is why there were four proposals on the table. But it seems UDP came to that coalition talk with a preconceived notion of what it wants and there was nothing to change that perspective.”- Kamalo

    Kamalo, in all fairness, you can say that of PDOIS too since they also insisted on their agenda 2011 throughout. The difference here though is that while UDP accommodated some aspect of pdois’s agenda 2011, the PDOIS party accommodated none of UDP’s positions. They (PDOIS) basically were asking for a coalition that was entirely based on their proposal and positions at the exclusion of everything else. That is why there was no coalition agreement with the UDP.

    Thanks

  67. Lafia Touray la Manju says:

    “Hamat Bah stood on a non-partisan platform and have less votes than Darboe who stood on the UDP-led alliance and have more votes, but they all lost to the ruling party candidate who had the most votes.”- kamalo

    Yes they are all losers but from your account above and if we are to choose on the basis of performance, it is clear that a UDP led allaince would be a better choose. Why the would that be forgone when there is no better option. A UDP led allaince is the best we got. Let embrace it and see how best we can enlarge it so that it can work best for us. This is what is required. If PDOIS wingers are hell bent on saying “UDP can’t win on its own”, then they must go and see whether they can win without the UDP. The proof of the pudding is in the eating.

    Thanks

  68. Lafia….

    Firstly,I hope you have taken note of my clarification concerning the statement you attributed to me and then branded me a liar…The decent thing to do would have been to either acknowledge your error or maintain your position….but simply ignoring it doesn’t tell very well on you…

    Secondly,though you have posted a lot,there is nothing new in what you have presented,nor did you disprove my views that UDP did not “concede” to PDOIS’ Transition proposal or propose a similar Transition Arrangement….Instead,you have repeated the same old misinformation…Here’s how..

    Quote Lafia….”Bax, Darboe already had a meeting with Sidia before UDP convened this meeting. In that meeting with Sidia, UDP discovered PDOIS’s positions and investigated the rationals behind them….”

    Comment….Now,what you are saying is that the UDP adopted their Transition Arrangement at this meeting,as a concessionary move towards the PDOIS position,after initial discussions were held with Sidia Jatta…But a quick glance into the past,2006 to be precise,will expose this assertion as a fraudulent and fictitious one…

    It is a fact that the first attempts to form a united opposition were initiated towards the elections in 2006…After several cross party consultations and meetings,an agreement was reached and presented in the form of the Memorandum of Understanding, which all the parties signed up to…As far as we know,no one party conceded to another during the preparation and up to the signing of the MOU…

    According to PART 1 (3C) of the MOU…..” The strategic objective of the alliance shall be to …(C) Launch a five year Transitional rectification programme in order to ensure an open democratic society based on the promotion of national unity,freedom,peace,prosperity and justice for all…”

    Regardless of what happened afterwards,the UDP initially signed up to a transitional arrangement,not as a concession to PDOIS,but because they “believed” that it was the right thing to do under the circumstances…Their adoption of this arrangement in 2011 was simply a reaffirmation of that commitment in 2006,same as PDOIS,rather than a concession…

    After quoting me with regards to the type of transition PDOIS proposed as opposed to the UDP’s,you made the following comment….

    “Nobody on this planet is in a position to claim he/she have read or heard PDOIS say that under their proposal, PDOIS or the leading party in the coalition will not seek re-election or support any candidate after the transition period. What they clearly stated over and over was that the successful candidate will not seek re-election or support any candidate in a subsequent election, and that was exactly what UDP has adopted in their final proposal.

    Bax, stop manufacturing stuff in your head. PDOIS have written a lot about its position and Darboe’s statement above covered this matter….”

    Allow me to reproduce that comment here to show what I meant earlier about your “knack of twisting what someone said to suit you…”

    Quote Bax……“The PDOIS Proposal terminates the “life” of.the transition government, after it has (successfully) overseen the political and governance reform programme and held elections, in which it has NO stake and NO vested interest….Do these two look and mean the same to you.? I hope not…”

    Comment….Where did I state that “PDOIS or the leading party in the coalition” will not seek re-election…? Since PDOIS’ Proposal is not a party based one (without a leading party,but one of equal partners),where does the “leading party” notion come from…?

    Here’s what I meant when I stated that you have a ” tendency to argue against yourself “….

    After making a bold claim that “Nobody on this planet is in a position……..” (arguing against my view that PDOIS Proposal terminates the “life” of the Transition Government),you made the following comment….

    “What they clearly stated over and over was that the successful candidate will not seek re-election….”

    Meaning that as head of the Executive Arm of Government,if he/she goes,his/her administration goes with him/her too..Meaning that the “Life” of the administration is terminated;has come to an end…As the PDOIS Proposal is not party based/led,every party campaigns on an equal footing,in an election supervised by a President who has no stake or vested interest in the outcome… The next President appoints his/her own administration and embarks on his/her programmes…What’s your point of argument…?

    In fact,this is the position of the MOU that all parties signed towards 2006 elections,which I think, is reproduced in Agenda 2011…

    Under TENURE of Office,(9a) the MOU states that….”The interim president of the republic under the alliance shall serve for one five year term of office only.He/She shall vacate his/her seat at the end of his/her term and shall neither seek nor support the candidature of any other person for the ensuing presidential elections….”

    Quote Lafia….

    “……UDP discovered PDOIS’s positions and investigated the rationals behind them….”

    Comment…I doubt that UDP made any serious efforts to investigate the rationale of PDOIS Transition Proposal,but if they did,then they have not shown that they clearly understood it,otherwise,the leadership would not have made this statement….

    “Mr. Jatta in reply said that the stipulation of such a condition was not putting into question the integrity of any person who might be selected as an all opposition alliance candidate but that such a person would have an advantage over others. I took my enquires further and asked Mr. Jatta what this advantage(s) might be but he could not say…”

    Anybody who know Gambian politics will know that the biggest voter/vote pulling factor in any presidential ( and even Assembly) Elections is the INCUMBENCY FACTOR…Merely being in government gives you an immense advantage over your opponents…If any transition efforts is to lead to the type of “level playing field” that is envisaged by all/most and necessitates the building of any coalition/alliance,then the PDOIS Proposal,being more superior to the UDP’s and non partisan,offers the best answer…

  69. suwaibou Touray says:

    Landing Jallow Sonko was just trying to bridge the gap between the camps by coming with his proposal. This is why he asked Darboe whether he would want to lead a Non Partisan Coalition, to which Darboe categorically said he would not. So how then can anyone discuss that proposal any further? You are the one twisting facts. I was there representing my party and served as the secretary throughout the negotiations. You are only narrating what you are being told. I was there throughout. Can’t you debate without insults? How can you be insulting at the same time telling others that this is a decent debate. Why are you also telling me to bark off? I thought the debate is about the Gambia.

  70. Quote Lafia,quoting Lawyer Darboe….

    (1)…..”In the course of the discussions I questioned Mr. Jatta on the rationale for imposing a condition on a successful all opposition alliance presidential candidate not to contest elections or support any candidate for election at the end of what is described in Agenda 2011 as a transitional period…..”

    Comment….

    (A)…When you question the rationale of something,it does seem to suggest that you have doubts in it and are not convinced that it makes sense…To express doubts in a commitment that you had earlier signed up to would seem to suggest that either you did not understand what you signed or you were not sincere in your intentions…May be Lafia can tell us which one is true..

    (B)…The use of the phrase,…” What is described….as “, does suggest that the speaker does not accept what has been described, for what it is described…In this case,it seems that Lawyer Darboe does not accept “what has been described in Agenda 2011 as a transitional period”,to be a transitional period…Therefore any claims that his version of a transitional period,as proposed by the UDP,is a concession to PDOIS,is false…How could you incorporate what you don’t accept…?

    (2)…” I told Mr. Jatta that the imposition of such a condition to my mind calls into question the integrity of the person who is selected by the alliance as a candidate……”

    Comment…This corroborates views that they (UDP), after realising the mistakes they made in signing the MOU,are no longer willing to be bound by conditions…The reasons advanced (ie,questioning ones integrity) are just feeble excuses…Why doesn’t he advance the same reasons and refuse to sign nomination papers that include “conditions”,when he presents his nomination to the IEC…? Lafia should enlighten us on this too…

    (3)…” I made it clear to him that for the UDP such a condition suggests that the person so selected will not abide by the accepted rules and that he would only perpetuate himself in office. I made it clear to him the UDP will not consider such a person fit to be selected as an all opposition alliance candidate because there is some latent doubt that when elected to the office of president he will not honour his commitment to ensuring that all parties operate in a level playing field…..”

    Comment….That’s very noble and all very well for the UDP, but that is no assurance to his colleagues in the opposition,especially when the political realities,culture and traditions are considered….Moreover,how could he expect that guarantees for the implementation of a programme of this magnitude,should be left to the “goodwill” of the incumbent and his party…?

    Honorable Lawyer Darboe needs to do better than this because the fears and suspicions of his colleagues are well founded…

  71. Lafia Touray la Manju says:

    Gambia Moral Congress Does Not Support A Conventional Proposal

    “Monday, 31 October 2011 14:22

    (Press Release) – This is to inform the general public of the position of GMC on the failed united opposition alliance talks, for purposes of election 2011. Our policy has been to empower the opposition and to support the formation of a robust, united alliance, which we believe provides enhanced prospects for political changes in national governance infrastructure.

    GMC had participated at all sessions of the talks concerning a united opposition alliance for election 2011. GMC National Working Committee (NWC) authorized its Delegates to present our perspective. This position specifically and exclusively mandates support for Party-led proposal as opposed to a Convention proposed by PDOIS. Our Party’s position on this has been deliberate and consistent for the past one year, when we publicly proclaimed a statement of intent endorsing this principle. There has been no modification of official GMC position authorized by the National Working Committee to depart from this principle, meaning there was no legitimate Mandate authorizing GMC Delegates to the alliance talks, to support or endorse a Convention proposal put forward by PDOIS.

    GMC maintained that fairness and sincerity should guide the talks in the formation of an opposition alliance. If we are to be sincere, we as leaders of political parties must also be fair, for sincerity and fairness are values that cannot be separated or compartmentalized. One cannot claim to be sincere and yet eschew fairness. GMC submitted to the alliance talks in writing that fairness demands that the opposition political party with the largest support base, more functioning structures and historically proven voter support should be accorded priority in the political equation. GMC insists that if we must build a New Gambia, we cannot jettison fairness and sincerity on the alter of convenience. That is why although desirably we would like to also produce the united opposition flag bearer, our Party suppressed this inclination in the larger national interest. It is this inescapable demand for fairness and sincerity that informed our policy to support a Party-led proposal consistently for the past one year. National political expediency or other compelling variables may require GMC to review this policy within the context of a united opposition alliance, if in our considered opinion superior supervening circumstances present themselves.

    The general public is therefore being duly informed that GMC National Working Committee, the sole body with the legal authority to determine this matter did not authorize a change of our well known position within the context of a united opposition alliance front, however that may come to be. Consequently, GMC as a political Party is not a part of the political opposition that currently promotes the idea of a Convention as propagated by PDOIS, NRP and GPDP.

    Now that the prospects of a united opposition alliance has failed within the context of which we consistently supported the principle of Party-led proposal, GMC National Working Committee is currently in the process of assessing the conclusions of our recent consultations with our membership nation-wide, so as to give direction to our next line of action. The ultimate decision of the National Working Committee (NWC) shall be inspired by the aggregate recommendations and aspirations of GMC members, in accordance with what they believe is in the best national interest, and that of our Great Party. The general public shall be duly informed shortly.

    Dated the 31st October 2011.

    Mai Ahmad Fatty, Esq,
    GMC Party Leader

    There we go Suwaibou Touray. Your lies exposed. Also, to confirm my point that UDP was not even aware of Hamat Bah’s support for a convention until when everything was over and the delegation was no longer at the table. At time Oj left, Hamat’s position was still NRP led allaince and maintained that throughout the deliberation. Here is what Darboe had to say about NRP position in his 17th October 2011 press conference after the coalition talks ended:

    “Darboe asserted that probably those calling for a convention will arrange a convention among themselves- those allegedly agreeing to a convention and he said he is using the word allegedly very adversely notwithstanding the signing of the press release by all parties because he is not sure if NRP is supporting a convention- so that the consultation will be between the convention candidate and the UDP.”

    Lying does not pay my touray brother.

    Thanks

  72. Quote Lafia…

    “I ask the question again; which position of the UDP has PDOIS so far accepted as a far of ensuring a compromise??? Anybody???….”

    Comment….This question that you keep asking does not require to be answered because it is based on a fraudulent and false claim that,..”the UDP accepted PDOIS’s Transition Proposal and agreed that their leader will serve only one term and not support any candidate….”

    As I have already pointed out, this transition idea was an all party commitment during the establishment of NADD, which was translated into the MOU and signed by all….Its inclusion in.either party’s proposal was a reaffirmation of that commitment taken in NADD, rather than a concession to anyone camp….

    I have also pointed out that the claim that the UDP only knew about PDOIS’s Transition position,after Mr Darboe met Mr Jatta, is equally a fraudulent and false one…

    It is indisputable that after the defeat of NADD and its near collapse , PDOIS was the only party that remained committed to the idea ( in its entirety) and have never stopped propagating it during the ensuing years (2006-2011), culminating in its reproduction ( or an amended version), as Agenda 2011…Nobody who is sincere can say that they didn’t know PDOIS position on the Transition until 2011…

    These are the unchangeable facts before us and until you provide proof to back your claim, you shouldn’t expect to get an answer…

  73. Lafia Touray la Manju says:

    “It wouldn’t surprise me if Darboe had accepted the Landing Jallow proposal and the UDP executive rejected it. It would not have aligned with their overriding interest of forming the next government.”- Kamalo

    Well no party expressed support for Landing Jallow Sonko’s proposal and that includes PDOIS.

    If PDOIS wants to ditch their Agenda 2016 for Landing Jallow Sonko’s proposal, then they should communicate that to the nation. That way, we will get a reaction that will clearly spell each parties position on that proposal.

    Thanks

  74. Lafia Touray la Manju says:

    “Do you then want to tell me that when the UDP is elected to power through a UDP-led coalition they will use the PDOIS manifesto to govern?”- kamalo

    A coalition will always an agenda that all it’s constituents agreed on as a basis for that coming together. It is that programme that would be implemented while in govt. This is the case between the Tories and the Liberal Democrats in the UK and it is how coalition governments operates everywhere in this world. There is no where in this world where a coalition government came into being and they govern entirely on one party’s policies and programmes.

    Again I provide you what Oj said on this;

    “Secondly, the government of the alliance will be inclusive of all members of the parties that are parties to the alliance. All of them will participate in the government, and we will set up a technical committee that will draft the alliance agreements. Unfortunately, I supported this proposal, but some of the members of the other parties like Halifa Sallah of PDOIS and Hamat Bah of NRP didn’t support it,” he further explained.

    OJ added that because there was no consensus at the end of the day, he decided that his party will only campaign for the united candidate, without which, his party will not take part “because already from our experience, it will be a waste of resources, time and a waste of energy.”

    Thanks

  75. Lafia Touray la Manju says:

    “Do you then want to tell me that when the UDP is elected to power through a UDP-led coalition they will use the PDOIS manifesto to govern?”- kamalo

    A coalition will always have an agenda that all it’s constituents agreed on as a basis for them coming together. It is that programme or agenda that is implemented while in govt. This is the case between the Tories and the Liberal Democrats in the UK and it is how coalition governments operate everywhere in this world. There is no where in this world where a coalition government came into being and they govern entirely on one party’s policies and programmes. That is simply inconceivable.

    Again I provide you what Oj said on this;

    “Secondly, the government of the alliance will be inclusive of all members of the parties that are parties to the alliance. All of them will participate in the government, and we will set up a technical committee that will draft the alliance agreements. Unfortunately, I supported this proposal, but some of the members of the other parties like Halifa Sallah of PDOIS and Hamat Bah of NRP didn’t support it,” he further explained.

    OJ added that because there was no consensus at the end of the day, he decided that his party will only campaign for the united candidate, without which, his party will not take part “because already from our experience, it will be a waste of resources, time and a waste of energy.”

    Thanks

  76. How about an open discussion/ alliance conference where all stakeholders are invited including the media with independents serving as honest brokers. The problem with these back room meeting style of dealing making am afraid results in he said she said.

    What ever happens don’t wait till three months before election. I think Gambians are beginning to open their eyes and an honest attempt to an alliance can work.

    Again, please let focus our attention and energy on solving the impasse rather that UDP this PDOIS that.

  77. “It wouldn’t surprise me if Darboe had accepted the Landing Jallow proposal and the UDP executive rejected it. It would not have aligned with their overriding interest of forming the next government.”- Kamalo

    “Well no party expressed support for Landing Jallow Sonko’s proposal and that includes PDOIS.” Lafia

    It is just plain common sense. Darboe did not accept the proposal in the first place how could other parties including PDOIS support it. How can you support something that has not been accepted by the person whom it was supposed to benefit? .

    You stated that the UDP executive instructed Darboe to go into that meeting and sell the UDP party-led alliance agenda, and you also stated that even if Darboe had accepted this proposal the UDP executive would have rejected it. So Darboe went to that meeting with a preconceived notion of what the UDP executed wanted.

    The Landing Jallow Sonko proposal does not align with the UDP’s overriding interest of forming the next government and was rejected.

    “If PDOIS wants to ditch their Agenda 2016 for Landing Jallow Sonko’s proposal, then they should communicate that to the nation. That way, we will get a reaction that will clearly spell each parties position on that proposal.”

    This is just a matter of trying to understand what was communicated and what happened. It seems to me that it was a reasonable proposal. May be the UDP should consider proposing it to the other opposition parties instead of the contentious UDP-led party proposal. At least something for a change.

    Thanks
    Reply

  78. “Do you then want to tell me that when the UDP is elected to power through a UDP-led coalition they will use the PDOIS manifesto to govern?”- kamalo

    “A coalition will always an agenda that all it’s constituents agreed on as a basis for that coming together. It is that programme that would be implemented while in govt.”

    Lafia, don’t you think it depends on the type of coalition. For the UDP-led party coalition i don’t think this can necessarily be true. If elected to power the UDP would have a mandate to govern regardless of what agenda it has agreed with others. It is entirely up to its government to live up to those commitments.

    “This is the case between the Tories and the Liberal Democrats in the UK and it is how coalition governments operates everywhere in this world. There is no where in this world where a coalition government came into being and they govern entirely on one party’s policies and programmes.”

    I don’t think you can compare the UK situation with what we are talking about here. In our case you have a political party that has been elected to power with a mandate to govern.

    In the UK it was a parliamentary elections between political parties and none of the parties can secure the majority of seats and votes for the House Of Commons to form a government. It was the 2010 general elections and it ended in a hung parliament. As a result the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats entered into negotiations to form a coalition government. In that case what you have described can be applicable.

    Again I provide you what Oj said on this;

    “Secondly, the government of the alliance will be inclusive of all members of the parties that are parties to the alliance. All of them will participate in the government, and we will set up a technical committee that will draft the alliance agreements.

    Unfortunately, I supported this proposal, but some of the members of the other parties like Halifa Sallah of PDOIS and Hamat Bah of NRP didn’t support it,” he further explained.

    OJ added that because there was no consensus at the end of the day, he decided that his party will only campaign for the united candidate, without which, his party will not take part “because already from our experience, it will be a waste of resources, time and a waste of energy.”

    Thanks

  79. “Hamat Bah stood on a non-partisan platform and have less votes than Darboe who stood on the UDP-led alliance and have more votes, but they all lost to the ruling party candidate who had the most votes.”- kamalo

    “Yes they are all losers but from your account above and if we are to choose on the basis of performance, it is clear that a UDP led allaince would be a better choose.”

    Yes, a better choice as to who would be the less looser. I guess this would be an enviable position to be.

    “Why the would that be forgone when there is no better option. A UDP led allaince is the best we got. Let embrace it and see how best we can enlarge it so that it can work best for us. This is what is required. If PDOIS wingers are hell bent on saying “UDP can’t win on its own”, then they must go and see whether they can win without the UDP. The proof of the pudding is in the eating.”

    There you have it. The struggle continues.

    Thanks
    Reply

  80. Lafia Touray la Manju says:

    “t is just plain common sense. Darboe did not accept the proposal in the first place how could other parties including PDOIS support it.”- kamalo

    Like I said all over, the discussion was between various parties. Darboe was only representing a party just like all the others. It was the parties that were invited, not people in their personal capacities. And you have not read anywhere that Darboe has supported or rejected this as no detail is available. All that is known is that no party expressed support for this proposal. As a matter of fact PDOIS was insisting on its agenda 2011 through out and never relented.

    In any case Darboe did reject agenda 2011 and that didn’t stop PDOIS and Gomez expressing support for it.

    The Uk example is a typical coalition example of how coalitions of all forms operates.

    I think you have exhausted your game plan; merely repeating yourself.

    Thanks

  81. Incredible how this guy argues against himself…..Just look at this….Somewhere, amongst the “volumes” of comments he posted, lies this statement quoting OJ. ..

    (1)…”After the second meeting, Ousainou made it clear he would not be able to contest under any other banner except the UDP and Landing Jallow withdrew his proposal….”

    And now he makes the following statement…… .

    (2)…” And you have not read anywhere that Darboe has supported or rejected this as no detail is available. All that is known is that no party expressed support for this proposal….”

    It is very clear, according to OJ’s testament, as quoted by Lafia in. (1), that Darboe REJECTED this proposal on the basis that he “is not able to contest under any other banner except the UDP. ..

    Or did he..? Not.according to (2)…Where we are told that “we.have not read anywhere that Darboe has supported or rejected this (proposal) as no detail is available. ..

    Which is which, Lafia..?

  82. Malamin Fatty says:

    Guys there is a fund drive call the Gambia Democracy Challenge I hope you will give passionately and stop these useless debates over two loosing parties.

  83. malamin fatty says:

    I wish the same energy devoted to these useless, pointless and tired debates between PDOIS militants and UDP militants would be deployed and geared toward ideas about a unity challenge followed by a massive funding challenge.
    I bet you will spend countless hours trying to prove how smart you are but not contribute a cent toward anything meaningful to help the struggle.

    Have you guys ever thought about the fact that it is lack of action and differences between Gambians that is keeping APRC in power.

    Chei Gambia Lip Service Rek

  84. malamin fatty. …

    You need to respect yourself if you want others to respect you or your views…You are completely out of order in the manner you are trying to promote this fund raising…

    It is a noble initiative and I’m sure those who have pennies/cents to contribute are unlikely to brag about it here…

    Please, give us a break and let decent people engage each other in the manner they chose.. .Show some respect to other people’s rights to express their views in issues that matter to them…

  85. Malamin, it is true that these debates and discussions have been going on, particularly between UDP supporters and PDOIS supporters, and gains much intensity before every election cycle, repeating the same arguments over and over again, because there are fundamental disagreements that exist between the two.

    The Gambian people, especially the diaspora Gambians want change, which is demonstrated through their tireless efforts to raise awareness about the governing situation in the country; the proliferation of radio and internet media outlets that accentuates the seriousness and urgent need for change of this governing situation; and lastly, the formation of civil society groups and militant activist groups all dedicated to a struggle that want to help bring about a change in our governing situation.

    But the sad reality is that, unless we want to pursue other methods of changing this governing situation, it can only come about through the opposition political parties on the ground participating in the electoral process. They have been trying to do this since 1996 either on their individual party platforms or through some coalition of sorts with other opposition political parties. None have proven to be a match for the entrenched and consolidated political structure and culture that favors disproportionately the ruling party and government that has been in power since the coup of 1994.

    And this situation is not likely to change soon, unless as everyone interested in the Gambian political situation now reckons, that all opposition political parties come together and put up one single candidate against the power of incumbency of the presidency and all the attendant power structure that support this perpetuation of power. How to do this is the challenge before us. I wont consider the debates and discussions that may give impetus to a serious and genuine effort at bringing this opposition political parties together as useless and pointless because that is all we have. Others might argue that there are other avenues for change. We do not disagree just that we may not subscribe to those avenues.

    All those who really want a genuine change in the Gambia that will consolidate a culture of democratic dispensation can discern through these exchanges what should be the best approach.

  86. No one needs reminding that every single Gambian has the inalienable RIGHT to effect the manner of change they wish for the country or to remain with the status-quo…

    That anyone agrees with the approach of a particular group,does not mean that everyone else should, nor does it even mean that the group has monopoly over the process of change…

    So what mature and decent people should do in this struggle, is to strive for unity, and where that fails, to associate themselves with the group with which they share the same approaches and try to mobilise support to their camp…without being insulting to others, and dismissive of their views as “useless” or whatever. ..

    In that.way, you demonstrate that you are a member of civilised society who can be engaged in a civilised way and, thus, command the respect of others…

  87. “The UK example is a typical coalition example of how coalitions of all forms operate,” Lafia

    Lafia, I think you may want to revisit this statement to qualify what type of coalition you are taking about. The UK has a parliamentary system. In the event where none of the political parties have a clear majority of the number of seats in parliament in an election they do form coalitions with other parties to ascertain this majority seat in parliament to form a government.

    This is fundamentally different from our situation where a political party would be elected to power with a mandate to form a government.

    Let me state it again: if we have a UDP –led coalition with a UDP presidential candidate and the presidential candidate is elected to power the UDP party will form the government. They will be the ruling party in government. What is so difficult to understand about this?

    The UDP party does not need a coalition to form a government. In your UK example the parties need to form a coalition first to attain the majority seats in parliament to form a government.

    It is important to make this distinction because the whole rationale and justification that underpins your party-led agenda is premised on this faulty assumption.

    If the desire is to form a coalition government the nature of that government and its mandate must be explicitly stated. The kind of coalition that can accommodate the nature of such a government also explored.

    Now consider what OJ is quoted as saying as the basis that would form the coalition government:

    “The UDP after they made concrete recommendations acceptable to me. They said if we have a UDP-led alliance government , the leader will serve five years, retire and not support any candidate; that the government he or she will form will be inclusive of all parties in the alliance and that all decisions will be taken consultatively.

  88. Lafia Touray la Manju says:

    “As I have already pointed out, this transition idea was an all party commitment during the establishment of NADD, which was translated into the MOU and signed by all….Its inclusion in.either party’s proposal was a reaffirmation of that commitment taken in NADD, rather than a concession to anyone camp….”- Bax

    Bax, there you go again manufacturing theories in head and bringing fictions here. First you said UDP’s transition is different from PDOIS’s. Now you are telling us actually it was an all party idea. This demonstrates to the entire readership that you are clueless as to the facts of this matter.

    I will clarify this once again for the benefit of the readership after which you can continue to manufacture as many theories in your head as you want. My duty is to the readership, not you.

    Firstly, it is clear that prior to Darboe’s meeting with Sidia, UDP’s position was not for one 5yr term transition but a two 5yr term limit.

    Secondly, it is clear that prior to Darboe’s meeting with Sidia, the UDP was having issues with the transition prescribed in PDOIS’s Agenda 2011 and was not opened to the conditions attached to it. This was how Darboe expressed the issue to Sidia;

    “In the course of the discussions I questioned Mr. Jatta on the rationale for imposing a condition on a successful all opposition alliance presidential candidate not to contest elections or support any candidate for election at the end of what is described in Agenda 2011 as a transitional period. The UDP has always advocated and will continue to advocate for a two year term limit. I told Mr. Jatta that the imposition of such a condition to my mind calls into question the integrity of the person who is selected by the alliance as a candidate. I made it clear to him that for the UDP such a condition suggests that the person so selected will not abide by the accepted rules and that he would only perpetuate himself in office. I made it clear to him the UDP will not consider such a person fit to be selected as an all opposition alliance candidate because there is some latent doubt that when elected to the office of president he will not honour his commitment to ensuring that all parties operate in a level playing field. Mr. Jatta in reply said that the stipulation of such a condition was not putting into question the integrity of any person who might be selected as an all opposition alliance candidate but that such a person would have an advantage over others. I took my enquires further and asked Mr. Jatta what this advantage(s) might be but he could not say.”

    Fourthly, it is also clear that when Darboe reported back to the UDP executive his meeting with Sidia, a deliberation ensured and this resulted to the party substituting its two 5yr term position with PDOIS’s one 5yr term transition proposal and the attached condition that the successful candidate will not seek re-election and would not support any candidate in a subsequent election. This is how Darboe put it in his 17th October 2011 press conference;

    “But it is quite obvious, he said, that their position was one of a party led and they have argued and will continue to argue that the accepted norm throughout the world is that when parties are coming together to form an alliance, it is the party with the majority that takes up the leadership and lead the other parties in the alliance and contest the election.

    Mr. Darboe noted that the UDP has accommodated in their proposal, the 5yr transition and all the attendant conditions that PDOIS articulated in their Agenda 2011. Notwithstanding this, those calling for a convention to select a flagbearer were still not inclined to accommodate any element of UDP’s proposal, he added. He also indicated that he respects other views but that they did not see anything wrong with their view.”

    NADD was a 2006 issue and it’s MOU have has no bearing whatsoever on any of UDP’s negotiation positions of 2011. After a matter of fact, UDP left NADD since 2006 and nothing do do with anything NADD since then.

    I have asked Suwiabou Touray, the Administrative Secretay of PDOIS, what position of the UDP was/ is acceptable to PDOIS. He couldn’t answer. That is a palpable confirmation that PDOIS was arguing for a coalition that is based entirely on their terms and position. This is unreasonable and no coalition involving the UDP will be formulated on that basis. It hasn’t happened that way anywhere in this world and it won’t happen in The Gambia either.

    Only a compromise engenders coalition and of tern this requires parties to adopt some positions of the other side. The UDP have accommodated some elements of pdois’s proposal. PDOIS should now recognise the legitimacy of a UDP led allaince since UDP is the biggest opposition party in the country. That way, we can have a coalition that will serve the nation well. PDOIS can even asked for more conditions to be attached.

    There are no new issues to address and thus, I rest my case.

    Thanks

  89. Lafia Touray la Manju says:

    “Lafia, I think you may want to revisit this statement to qualify what type of coalition you are taking about. The UK has a parliamentary system. In the event where none of the political parties have a clear majority of the number of seats in parliament in an election they do form coalitions with other parties to ascertain this majority seat in parliament to form a government.”- kamalo

    Kamalo, you are confused.com. No one was talking about types of coalition in the UK example. You made a preposterous claim that a UDP led allaince government was going to govern entirely on UDP’s programmes and polices. I was telling you that no coalition government ever operates like that and that a UDP led coalition was going to have a agenda that was agreed by all the parties in the coalition and it was going to operate on the basis of that agenda just like it is the case with Tories and the liberal democrats in the UK.

    Your are merely on a fishing expedition and have no point to argue. All what you are doing is manufacturing theories that are not connected to the facts and that is unfortunate.

    Thanks

  90. Lafia Touray la Manju says:

    “Lafia, I think you may want to revisit this statement to qualify what type of coalition you are taking about. The UK has a parliamentary system. In the event where none of the political parties have a clear majority of the number of seats in parliament in an election they do form coalitions with other parties to ascertain this majority seat in parliament to form a government.”- kamalo

    Kamalo, you are confused.com. No one was talking about types of coalition in the UK example. You made a preposterous claim that a UDP led allaince government was going to govern entirely on UDP’s programmes and polices. I was telling you that no coalition government ever operates like that and that a UDP led coalition was going to have a agenda that was agreed by all the parties in the coalition and it was going to operate on the basis of that agenda just like it is the case with Tories and the liberal democrats in the UK. I have provided a quotation from OJ on this point and that was ample evidence in support of my claim.

    Your are merely on a fishing expedition and have no point to argue. All what you are doing is manufacturing theories that are not connected to the facts and that is unfortunate.

    Thanks

  91. Lafia Touray la Manju says:

    The UDP after they made concrete recommendations acceptable to me. They said if we have a UDP-led alliance government , the leader will serve five years, retire and not support any candidate; that the government he or she will form will be inclusive of all parties in the alliance and that all decisions will be taken consultatively.

    Secondly, the government of the alliance will be inclusive of all members of the parties that are parties to the alliance. All of them will participate in the government, and we will set up a technical committee that will draft the alliance agreements. Unfortunately, I supported this proposal, but some of the members of the other parties like Halifa Sallah of PDOIS and Hamat Bah of NRP didn’t support it,” he further explained.

    OJ Jallow, Interim Leader of the PPP

  92. Lafia Touray la Manju says:

    “Addressing Concerns

    Darboe asserted that some have said that a party led alliance can or would lead to the withering away of the constituent parties and they have responded to say that what they have agreed upon is that when they (UDP) win election, the media will be opened to every party and that even when an alliance Government is in office, all the other parties will have access to the media to sell their programmes and convince the people on the viability of their policies. He said it is not as if one is leaving everything until at the end of the five years and then one opens the media. “So where is the withering away of the constituent parties?”, he asked. And again he said during National Assembly Elections, parties will field candidates in constituencies where they have more supporters than others and in this way, he said, even during the transition, parties will make their presence felt.”

    Lawyer Darboe, UDP Leader

  93. Lafia, Bax said that you have a tendency to doublespeak and this is becoming more and more apparent. You will say something but when the fallacies in your statement are exposed you then turn around and say that you mean something else.

    “Lafia, I think you may want to revisit this statement to qualify what type of coalition you are taking about. The UK has a parliamentary system. In the event where none of the political parties have a clear majority of the number of seats in parliament in an election they do form coalitions with other parties to ascertain this majority seat in parliament to form a government.”- kamalo

    “Kamalo, you are confused.com. No one was talking about types of coalition in the UK example. You made a preposterous claim that a UDP led alliance government was going to govern entirely on UDP’s programmes and POLICIES. I was telling you that no coalition government ever operates like that and that a UDP led coalition was going to have a agenda that was agreed by all the parties in the coalition and it was going to operate on the basis of that agenda just like it is the case with Tories and the liberal democrats in the UK. I have provided a quotation from OJ on this point and that was ample evidence in support of my claim.”

    First, the Gambia and the UK have a different political system. The UK has a parliamentary system of governance. The Gambia has an executive presidency system of governance. In the UK a government is formed when in a parliamentary election the party that has the majority of seats in the HOUSE OF COMMONS forms the government. In the Gambia a government is formed when in a presidential elections the presidential candidate of a political party that wins the elections has a mandate to form the government. Thus we say the APRC government, the PPP government and so forth.

    In the UK a political party comes to power by winning the majority of seats in the HOUSE OF COMMONS. However, if no political party has the majority seat in parliament they can form a coalition with other parties to attain this majority seat in parliament so that they can form a Coalition government. So you can see even by the nature of the processes that the two systems are different.

    Regardless of the fact that you cannot compare two systems that are different, now you are telling me that you are more interested in how a coalition government operates. How the UK coalition government operates you argued is the template on how all other coalition governments operate, and a UDP coalition government is based on that template. If this is the case let us examine how the UK Coalition government operates.

    The Conservative and Liberal Democrat have a coalition agreement, which is the basis of their coalition government, and it is a policy document drawn following the 2010 UK elections in which none of the parties have the clear majority in parliament to form a government.

    This negates completely the theoretical basis of your UDP-LED party coalition argument, and by extension UDP coalition government, because here you have different political parties that cannot come to power because none has the majority of seats in parliament to form a government. They then entered into a coalition agreement to form a Coalition government.

    It doesn’t therefore make sense for you to tell me that a political party that has won an election to form a government (a udp-led coalition) will then turn around and form a coalition government (when there is no theoretical basis to do so.) Even though it has a clear mandate to form a government. You see how convoluted this argument is.

    You can invite your coalition partners in the UDP-led coalition in your government, and call it an alliance or coalition government, but don’t tell me that it is based on the principle that underlines the UK Coalition government. A principle in which different parties that cannot win the majority of seats in parliament come together and form a Coalition government.

    And this is how the UK Coalition government operates between the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats:

    After the 2010 elections in which none of the parties have a majority seat in the HOUSE OF COMMONS, the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats published an initial agreement detailing what they had agreed upon in various policy areas in order to form a coalition government. They had a final agreement published on the 29th May 2010.

    This is completely different from the statements that you keep forwarding from Lawyer Darboe and OJ.

    Notice also that the parties have to agree on the various policy areas before a coalition government can be formed. And there is a detailed list of all the policy areas that they have to agree on.

    What makes the UK Coalition Government different from our political situation is that the political party that is elected to power can form a government and does not need to have any coalition agreement formalized before doing so. Thus if the UDP is elected to power through a UDP-led coalition it can form a government based entirely on its programs and policies.

    You came up with this party-led coalition agenda, and argued profusely that it is the norm through which all coalition formations in the world are based, and then used the UK coalition government to try to support your assumption. But the evidence clearly showed that there is no theoretical basis to support your assumption and your party-led agenda. If anything you are the one who is concocting all this in your mind.

    You came up with the idea that because you are the largest opposition political parties, therefore all other opposition parties must support your election to power (UDP-led party coalition,) and in return you will share the government with them. You make promises that will ally their fears that you will not entrench yourself in power when elected. This is basically the whole concept behind all what you have been arguing.

    “Your are merely on a fishing expedition and have no point to argue. All what you are doing is manufacturing theories that are not connected to the facts and that is unfortunate.”

    Whatever are your facts they are completely different from what I have enumerated above. I will come back to your last two postings.

  94. Suwaibou Touray says:

    Alafia my brother,
    I do not know the relevance of the question: “what position of the UDP was/ is acceptable to PDOIS?” This is why i did not bother to reply. The main thrust of the UDP proposal is UDP Party to lead all other parties in the Alliance, not only to form government but also control parliament. But that was not the main problem. The main problem was that Darboe does not buy the idea that a popular convention should select the Flagbearer. The PDOIS after the 2006 experience have always maintain that they would not themselves directly select any flagbearer but would facilitate a process for the people to do that. The reason being that leaders do not always abide by agreements or promises and we have been told many times that signing MOUs is useless since it is a non binding document. MOUs are not binding but the people are binding. So in case of failure to adhere to principles and agreed terms, the people who select the leader would be better placed to correct their action. Coalition governments should come to an end when the accepted agreements are not implemented or adhered to. So when a leader is reluctant to put those safeguards in place, eyebrows are rasised. This is why someone told you that UDP should have done more to allay the fears of other parties not merely by mentioning it but by putting it in Black and White and in the public space. Seriousness dictates that proposals are detailed enough to show programs and policies one aims to address and how. Simply writing a two paragraph letter inviting stakeholders to a meeting to discuss unity is too patchy which does not help because it leaves others to either be guessing or asking questions.
    As you have been told a million times by others, any coalition which does not have such safeguards is likely not to meet its target objectives and PDOIS does not want to be trapped by what others may do in the future.
    Like others in the forum have suggested, let others come up with their programs and explain it to the Gambian people and allow them to scrutinize it. If anyone has something to suggest alternatively, you are welcome and we are grateful to them.
    Thanks

  95. Lafia Touray la Manju says:

    Suwaibou, again you are lying all over the time.

    1. Under the UDP proposal, the coalition govt to be formed was to be inclusive of all parties;
    2. UDP recognised that such a government can only govern on the basis of an agenda agreed to all. Hence, the proposal that a techinal committee be formed to draw an agenda that was agreeable to all.
    3. Decisions where to be made consultatively
    4. At the time of the next election, all the parties would have been in govt (incumbent parties) unless the choose to resign as elections are held before the actual end of the term.
    5. A UDP president would not seek re-election or support another candidate.

    So where is UDP dominating???

    With respect of parliamentary elections, the UDP position is explained as thus, and that is exactly what Sidia too said about Pdois’s position;

    “And again he said during National Assembly Elections, parties will field candidates in constituencies where they have more supporters than others and in this way, he said, even during the transition, parties will make their presence felt.”

    This is what Darboe quoted Sidia as saying to him about PDOIS position on the same subject(Sidia did not deny this);

    “Mr. Jammeh intervened again and asked how candidates for National Assembly elections will be elected under Agenda 2011 proposal. Mr. Jatta replied that this could be done on the basis of party strength in the constituencies. With that response from Mr. Jatta, I said to him if one can apply the principle of party strength to selection of National Assembly candidates why not for the selection of a presidential candidate.”

    Thus, if UDP’s position meant that they will dominate parliament then that is reflective of pdois’s position too. Maybe you will explain to the readership why you will rely on party strength to choose a candidate in parliamentary election but would not do the same in a presidential election. In English, this is call double standard and only hypocrites adopts double standards.

    As to a convention, well UDP have that at its party congress and it’s candidate was someone who was chosen by the people through a convention.

    I maintain that a convention is an internal party instrument of selection. Thus, if PDOIS wants to challenge the legitimacy of a UDP leadership, it has to prove that it has more or equal votes in a general election. That is where parties do an open contest.

    On the question of MOU not binding but people binding, I thought you are the one who said Darboe did not agree to anything being put in writing until I had to produce OJ’s comments which confirm that a technical committee was going to be formed to draw a coalition agreement outlining its agendas?? You are clearly showing your true colours.

    Yes, people are binding and that is why a UDP candidate is some one who has been chosen by the people. That shows that the UDP recognised and value the power of the people. It is the same people who made the UDP the biggest opposition party in the country time and time again. Why can’t PDOIS respect the will of the majority of the people who support the opposition?

    It is not true that UDP’s invitation letter was only two paragraphs. That’s just you lying to your teeth because I have seen copies of their two letters through somebody very closed to the executive.

    I think if PDOIS don’t trust UDP, they should simply say that so people can understand that a coalition involving PDOIS and UDP is neither feasible nor attainable as PDOIS will not accept a UDP led allaince and the UDP will never join a primary or convention with PDOIS as long as it remains the biggest opposition party in the country.

    You still haven’t said what UDP position was accommodated by PDOIS since this debate in 2010. That clearly shows that PDOIS wants a coalition that is entirely based on their terms and conditions. That is not gonna happen as it is unreasonable and palpably absurd.

    Kamalo, you are mixing your apples and oranges again. I let you carry on with that.

    Once again, I produce OJ’s representation of UDP’s coalition proposal;

    “The UDP after they made concrete recommendations acceptable to me. They said if we have a UDP-led alliance government , the leader will serve five years, retire and not support any candidate; that the government he or she will form will be inclusive of all parties in the alliance and that all decisions will be taken consultatively.

    Secondly, the government of the alliance will be inclusive of all members of the parties that are parties to the alliance. All of them will participate in the government, and we will set up a technical committee that will draft the alliance agreements. Unfortunately, I supported this proposal, but some of the members of the other parties like Halifa Sallah of PDOIS and Hamat Bah of NRP didn’t support it,” he further explained.”

    OJ Jallow, Interim Leader of the PPP

    Thanks

  96. Lafia Touray la Manju says:

    (1)…”After the second meeting, Ousainou made it clear he would not be able to contest under any other banner except the UDP and Landing Jallow withdrew his proposal….”

    And now he makes the following statement…… .

    (2)…” And you have not read anywhere that Darboe has supported or rejected this as no detail is available. All that is known is that no party expressed support for this proposal….” Bax

    Well there is no contradiction here as Darboe was not speaking for himself but the UDP. He was not merely stating the position of the UDP of which he was the presidential candidate and also the lead representative in the coalition meeting.

    PDOIS was also insisting on agenda 2011 at the exclusion of everything else and that was what Halifa clearly stated in the meeting.

    Hamat too made it clear that his people on the ground said he must lead and that was what he insisted on having.

    That means even if Darboe was negotiating a coalition on his own behalf and accepted landing Jallow Sonko’s proposal, there still be no coalition as this proposal was unacceptable to all the parties including PDOIS.

    You won’t stop manufacturing theories in your head.

    Kamalo keep talking about how a coalition was formed in the Uk when the issue was how a coalition operates in government. This issue came about as a result his own erroneous claim that a UDP led coalition govt was going to operate solely on the basis of UDP programmes and policies. I have explained how a UDP coalition govt was going to operate anyway and Oj’s statement confirmed that

    Thanks

  97. Lafia Touray la Manju says:

    Meant to say Darboe was just merely stating UDP’s position, the party he was representing.

    Thanks

  98. Kamalo thanks for recognizing my frustration; militants of PDOIS and UDP have been debating since 2006 and to my this is border line insanity. How can decent citizens keep debating for 8 yrs while one person turn the entire country into his fiefdom.

    After 8 yrs of debating the same issue what else is there to talk about except repeating the same issues over and over again.

    Am sorry if I hit a nerve but the truth is if the same energy devoted to these debates between PDOIS militants and UDP militants is deployed and geared toward ideas that bridge the divide and solve the impasse we would have reached a solution.

    I will not/never agree to this is not good negotiating strategy. Communicate to your parties that these positions are untenable to me.

  99. suwaibou Touray says:

    Alafia my brother,
    Your conclusion as stated: “I think if PDOIS doesn’t trust UDP, they should simply say that so people can understand that a coalition involving PDOIS and UDP is neither feasible nor attainable as PDOIS will not accept a UDP led alliance and the UDP will never join a primary or convention with PDOIS as long as it remains the biggest opposition party in the country,”. If you are a fair minded person you would have come to the conclusion that UDP wants to lead a coalition led by it and other parties do not favour such an arrangement and that is the sticking point. You always make it as if it is only the PDOIS that rejected the UDP option. All those who rejected the UDP option joined the type of alliance they preferred but you don’t seem to recognise their choice and or independent decision.
    Your trend of thinking therefore is that if any party or parties do not accept UDP party Led coalition, then it means that they do not trust UDP or that they are not interested in alliance with it. You are too simplistic. Don’t forget it could also be the other way round. The question many ask in country is, why is it that the party that considers itself the biggest opposition party is never ready to go to a ‘Popular All Party Convention’ for the people to endorse it’s candidature?
    I want you to accept that parties are sovereign and if your party wants to form alliance with them, they have to agree on what form of alliance all of them would prefer. Even though it was ruled by the court that NADD was a party, the UDP walked out instead of accepting a primary if it was not satisfied with the method of selection adopted then. You said primaries are meant for single parties, was NADD not a single party? All you care about is your desire. You dont care about tactics or strategies, just your desire.
    I already told you quoting your discussion with OJ does not help your argument. I don’t like discussing OJ said this OJ said that. It’s not relevant at all in any way. I want you to quote policy documents not someone who was there only half of the time and only narrating his preference to which you consider to be gospel truth. If OJ had earlier understanding of what UDP led alliance would do and that’s what he wanted, so be it. But i am saying other parties are saying NO to that and UDP is not ready to leave it’s entrenched position. So who are going to blame now? The PDOIS? You are very unfair to us, my brother.
    Thanks

  100. Lafia, this is my take on the statement below. Let me know where I am wrong.

    Suwaibou, again you are lying all over the time.

    “1. Under the UDP proposal, the coalition govt to be formed was to be inclusive of all parties;”

    In the first place the government that is formed after the UDP is elected to power through a UDP party-led coalition will be a UDP government. The UDP presidential candidate who is also the presidential candidate of the UDP party-led coalition when elected to power will form a government under the banner of the UDP.

    The used of the phrase “Coalition Government or Alliance Government'” in this case is misplaced and at worst deceitful.

    This brings us back to the legitimacy of Coalition Governments as an instrument of governance when different political parties participating in an electoral process in which none emerged as a winner, entered into coalition agreements with the sole purpose of forming a Coalition government.

    This is a norm prevalent in most parliamentary democracies where political parties that do not win the majority seats in their parliaments to form a government entered into coalition agreements with other parties to have the required majority seats in parliament to form a Coalition government.

    In our case the UDP will have no legitimacy to form a coalition government because we do not have a parliamentary system of forming a government. A presidential candidate of a political party or an Independent presidential candidate who is elected directly by the people forms such a government.

    If the UDP presidential candidate is elected to power through a UDP party-led coalition, the UDP can invite their opposition political party partners in the UDP party-led coalition into their government and can call it whatever they want: UDP Government, Coalition Government or Alliance Government. It doesn’t change the reality that it is a UDP government.

    “2. UDP recognised that such a government can only govern on the basis of an agenda agreed to all. Hence, the proposal that a techinal committee be formed to draw an agenda that was agreeable to all.”

    This is utterly fallacious. The UDP when elected to party through a UDP party-led coalition will have a mandate to govern. It will have a mandate to form a government. All what a coalition does in this instance is for other opposition political parties to support the candidacy of a UDP presidential candidate.

    Notice the deceitful language that you are using; “can only govern on the basis of an agenda agreed to all.” False.

    This concept is only agreeable to the kind of coalition Governments in a parliamentary system like in the UK where the parties to a Coalition must first formalize a coalition agreement BEFORE a coalition government is formed.

    And how can a political party that has been in existence since 1994 and elected to power rely on a technical committee to be formed in order to govern? Does this make any sense to you?

    How about if there is no agreed agenda? The UDP want to do this and their opposition partners want to do something else?

    “3. Decisions where to be made consultatively”

    Are you telling me that when the UDP presidential candidate is elected to power through your party-led coalition, he will have to consult with his coalition partners every time he/she makes a decision? How about those coalition partners who may not be invited or selected to serve in his/her cabinet? Does this make any sense to you?
    .
    “4. At the time of the next election, all the parties would have been in govt (incumbent parties) unless the choose to resign as elections are held before the actual end of the term.”

    You are still under this illusion that all the parties would come together to form a government. They do not. It is the UDP party that forms the government.

    And why would the parties that you invite to your government choose to resign? Is it because they may disagree with the way the party is governing or they may disagree with the party’s policy objectives and goals? This runs contrary to the whole idea of a coalition government where coalition agreements are entered into before any coalition government is formed.

    “5. A UDP president would not seek re-election or support another candidate.”

    With all the arguments I have made against your “coalition government” to me this is not germane. This discussion will fall under the previous arguments I have made about our political structure and culture and how presidential incumbency can lead to the perpetuation of power.

    Thanks
    Reply

  101. ‘Kamalo keep talking about how a coalition was formed in the Uk when the issue was how a coalition operates in government. This issue came about as a result his own erroneous claim that a UDP led coalition govt was going to operate solely on the basis of UDP programmes and policies. I have explained how a UDP coalition govt was going to operate anyway and Oj’s statement confirmed that”

    Lafia, you are just unbelievable. You have a vision of what you want and will cleverly try to circumvent any discussion or argument towards that direction. Your objective and it is easy to discern in all these discussions or arguments that concerns the UDP is simply to rationalize and justify your desire that the UDP, as the main opposition political party in the country, should be elected to power.

    The fact that the UDP cannot do this on its own merit, you cleverly concocted this party-led agenda with the sole purpose of getting all the other opposition political parties to support your party’s candidature to the presidency. And you wouldn’t have it any other way.

    At the start of this discussion I have made many postulations. You are yet to disagree on any of those postulations in any meaningful or substantial way. However, you always come back either forwarding a bunch of statements from Lawyer Darboe and you make no attempt to get into a rational discussion to refute what others have been saying.

    You made the claim that UDP as the leading opposition political party in the country by virtue of having the most opposition votes in every election cycle, should lead any desire by the opposition to form an alliance or Coalition. You went further to argue that this is the norm everywhere in the world where coalitions are forged. This has been proven to be untrue and there is no evidence to support that claim. You specifically give as an example the UK coalition government. This has been the main thrust of your UDP party-led agenda.

    Go back to all what I said and come back and tell me where I am talking about something different from all what we have been discussing all along.

    Thanks

  102. suwaibou Touray says:

    Kamalo
    I thank you for your last posting. Nothing can be clearer than that. Your explanation is apt to the point. We will have no option but to address all these issues again and again and we must have the time and energy to do so. Those who are tired of discussing issues cannot be serious in searching for the truth about their country, let alone do anything concrete about it. The reason why the country is still like this is because our educated elites refused to endeavor to learn and teach our people so that our collective intelligence could be raised.

    It has always been said that the Gambia is greater than our individual parties and leaders and therefore we need to unite and save our country. But words alone are not enough, sincerity is needed. As far as we are concerned we are searching for the best form of unity that would likely bring all those oppose to this system and help us win all those who are trapped in the system and are compelled to supporting it so that together we can succeed to bring the change we deserved once and for all. It is unfortunate that some people cannot see that lining behind a particular party or leader would not necessarily bring this desired and ultimate change. Any unity that does not address self perpetuating rule and or cosmetic democracy for 50 years will be a futile venture.As Lafia said Gambia too can do it. We are human beings after all. So let us not be tired.
    Thanks

  103. Kamalo
    “I thank you for your last posting. Nothing can be clearer than that. Your explanation is apt to the point. We will have no option but to address all these issues again and again and we must have the time and energy to do so.”

    Suwaibou, I cannot agree more. I believe all those who are genuinely interested in a meaningful change of our political situation and are not overtly motivated by any partisan consideration, can see from these exchanges where actually the problem lies.

    Far too long PDOIS has been made the scapegoat with labels as being intransigent and uncompromising, but with these exchanges Gambians can now know which political party’s agenda has a real partisan streak to it.

    Lafia, has been vociferous and quite vocal in maintaining the UDP’s position of a party-led coalition, which in all instances has been the cause for the lack of unity among the opposition political parties. It is either their way or the highway. And then he turns around and blame other people.

    Let us recap for the benefit of all Gambians and for all those who genuinely are looking for a way forward.

    If we look at the issues objectively without injecting our emotions and other partisan considerations, we should be able to find a solution to our problems.

    The only reason we are talking about opposition political parties coming together to form an alliance is for the fact that none of the opposition political parties on their own can win an election to form a government.

    This is not their fault; it is a systemic problem. And to make sure that no opposition political party will ever be in this predicament again it is necessary to take care of this systemic problem. This is where the desire for a transition and rectification program of a government comes into play.

    And all along what we have been arguing is the nature of this government. This government can only be formed by the presidential candidate of a political party or an independent presidential candidate elected to the office of the presidency.

    In the last election cycle there was a robust debate as to whether an independent person can constitutionally be eligible to stand as a presidential candidate. That matter has been laid to rest now. There is a precedence that an independent person has stood as a presidential candidate and can be elected as president.

    So the choice before the Gambian opposition is either to support the presidential candidate of an opposition political party or a political party to come to power, or to support an independent presidential candidate to come to power.

    I have argued that there is no problem for opposition political parties coming together and support the UDP to be elected to power ( if that is what they want to do), but I have a problem for the UDP calling the government that they will form after they are elected to power as a COALITION GOVERNMENT or ALLIANCE GOVERNMENT. It is not.

    The reasons for this objection has been sufficiently argued. Lafia can come back and give a contrary opinion if he disagrees.

    I agree to all the other points and suggestions you have made in your remarks.

Disclaimer: Views expressed in this section are the author's own and do not represent the editorial policy of Kairo News. Kairo News will trash any comment that inflames tribal, racial or religious hatred.

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