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Sunday, March 7, 2021

Gambian politics: the need for inter-party dialogue

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The recent verbal sparring between the representatives of the different parties in the media in recent weeks and days is far from the desired intercourse that should be the hallmarks of our political landscape. 

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Inasmuch as we believe in tolerance for differences of opinion, we hold that it should be conducted in a manner that promotes healthy debate in a propitious climate. 

 

The Gambia is a country that is known for its serenity and peaceful coexistence of people of different political and religious persuasion. That has been the reality most of the time since the achievement of independence almost half a century ago. 

 

By no means is this an insinuation that there have not been frictions between parties but they have always been doused with the water of compromise and comprehension that is inevitably bound to dawn in a homogenous country like ours. This has been a perennial feature of our conduct of politics which should continue and hopefully contribute to leveling of the political playing field. We should never forget that in all our engagements.

 

Politics cannot thrive to its fullness without continuous discourse. There is always a need for exchange regarding policies that affect the nation positively and negatively. Elections only come around every five years but the need for dialogue and constructive criticism cannot be overstated. But vitriolic attacks punctuated with exchange of diatribes and blame will never get us where we want to be .Rather, it will only create animosity and hatred which will greatly set back the developmental strides of our dear country. 

 

The sad fact is that when parties divide and split, the people also divide which bring about a lot of unnecessary malice and conflicts. It’s not a pretty sight when parties which are supposed to be vehicles of unity and positive change become tools for the splintering of the masses into factions  . The whole purpose of politics is to guarantee, promote and protect the best interests of the people, and when this is not the case then the whole purpose is defeated. To become heedless of these facts is to be egoistic and selfish without sufficient concern for the well-being of Gambians. So for the sake of the people and citizenry of the Republic, let us put all our differences  aside and engage in building the foundation of a society built upon peaceful dialogue and discourse. 

 

The spirit of tolerance should always be a dominant feature   in exchanges between parties. The fact that every party has its own methodology, approach and policies alone makes it a rational case that there will always be differences and disagreements. 

 

However, this should not an impediment towards uniting forces for the good of the country. It’s within this understanding and framework that the opposition should engage one another and also the ruling party. The parties should also promote that tolerant approach between their various supporters.

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