Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

78

Disenfranchising diasporan Gambians

Dear Editor,

It’s impressive that Gambians have turned out en-masse to vote in this first post-dictatorship presidential poll. Several reports online show massive queues across the country. This is refreshing. One thing is clear, elections in The Gambia will never be the same. The renewed enthusiasm, energy, and interest, is a testament of the apparent consciousness of Gambians and their believe in the power of the marble. 

Having said that, it is also frustrating and deeply painful that over 200,000 diaspora Gambians have been disenfranchised. I hope that this important demographic will be able to vote in all future elections. Just last month, the World Bank listed The Gambia as one of the top 10 African countries expected to receive a massive inflow of remittances this year. The Gambia was projected to receive US$700 million from its diaspora citizens. Given these realities, it is unjustifiable that this important demographic was deliberately denied their right to vote, a desire that, among other things, ignited their painful struggle against the dictatorship. This must change. This section of Gambians must be respected. Any future political leader who disrespects this demographic will be doing so at his or her peril.

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Hatab Fadera

USA

Long live The Gambia!

Dear Editor,

Not boasting merely stating the obvious, I do understand democratic politics and Gambian politics more than most people talking about politics in the UDP.

I said that Darboe needed a political coalition to win the presidential election.

And a better agenda for government like a living wage and a parliamentary democracy but I was dismissed as not knowing what I’m talking about.

The damage has been done and President Barrow and his NPP will become the dominant political force in The Gambia for the foreseeable future.

The December 4th presidential election was a seminal moment in The Gambia’s political and economic development journey. 

The Gambia is now officially on its own in the hands of the most insidious characters and personalities in government. It’s going to be another decade of political and economic devastation for the ordinary Gambians particularly the UDP supporters.

I feel sorry for the ordinary UDP supporters but they don’t listen. The UDP is the best political party in The Gambia but the worst led political party as well. And last night’s election results is a testament to that fact.

Darboe shot himself in the foot when he opposed the implementation of the coalition agreement: he failed to put up any strong alternative opposition to the Barrow government in parliament: he failed to produce a fit for purpose manifesto agenda for government and was reticent about going into a political coalition – that’s why he lost the presidential election.

It could have been a more humiliating night for the UDP but for the gallant political participation of the ordinary Gambians and Barrow’s appalling record in the presidency.

I was a bit convinced in the penultimate week of the campaign that the UDP could win the presidency but my gut feeling has all along been that President Barrow will win the presidential election for the reasons stated.

And he’s won the presidency again to the detriment of The Gambia’s political and economic development. That’s the price we all have to pay for Darboe’s poor political leadership and judgment.

I knew that most Gambians pretending to be PDOIS, Essa Faal and Mamma Kandeh supporters were going to vote for President Barrow.

They are today celebrating Barrow’s win than the recognised NPP supporters.

I hope that the bitter lessons are learned. Long Live The Gambia!

Yusupha ‘Major’ Bojang

Brikama

Re: Fatty denies being used by Barrow

Dear Editor,

As stated in your article, Mai Fatty said of the IED: “You cannot conduct fair elections if you intentionally employ all manner of tactics to exclude and to frustrate a sizeable segment of the population from enjoying the right to elect their chosen candidate. You cannot organise free elections if you intentionally discriminate among candidates by denying others similar opportunities accorded to others. That is unconstitutional and must not be permitted to survive.”

This is exactly how the people of Foni were feeling when Mai was the minister for the interior. So let him take heart and endure it and learn to remember that what goes around comes around. He should know what to say as a politician otherwise the law is here to consume those who disobey it.

Ali Badjie

Serekunda