Has the Coalition disintegrated?

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In the 2016 presidential election, seven political parties and an independent candidate came together to present a united front to contest against the incumbent, Yahya Jammeh.

The Coalition agreed to identify and field in one candidate as a presidential contestant. The understanding was that when such a candidate becomes victorious, he/she would form a Coalition government which would be transitional to effect various reforms and level the playing field for the next elections.

Gambians bought into the argument and voted for Mr Adama Barrow, the candidate presented to them. President Adama Barrow formed his government which included all the different coalition partners. He appointed ministers from amongst them and work began in earnest.

However, along the way, the different stakeholders started falling apart and some were sacked from their positions. This brought a lot of talk in the nation culminating in uncertainties as it became more unclear where the country was heading.

The president vowed to stay on for five years as stipulated in the Constitution, pushing aside the three years said to have been the agreement of the Coalition.

There then emerged a rift between and among them as some supported his bid to stay for the full five years while others insisted that he respect the agreement and resign after three years.

In April of this year, an attempt was made to bring all the Coalition leaders under one roof to discuss the progress or otherwise of the Coalition agenda.

This meeting did not achieve much as two of the parties, UDP and PDOIS decided not to continue in the negotiations. Thus, many saw that as the demise of the Coalition.

A few weeks ago, another attempt was made when the former vice president Madame Fatoumatta Jallow-Tambajang led a delegation to meet President Barrow and decided to extend his ‘social legitimacy’ to five years.

This was however called into question when parties such as UDP, PDOIS and GMC claimed that they were neither informed nor invited.

Last week, Mr Mai Ahmad Fatty, leader and secretary general of the Gambia Moral Congress (GMC) announced his resignation from his position of Presidential Adviser. He said he had decided to leave and concentrate instead on reviving his party, the GMC.

The question now is: has the Coalition disintegrated?