The Central Committee of the People’s Democratic Organisation for Independence and Socialism convened a meeting to consider proposals forwarded by the party membership on the forthcoming Council Elections slated for April 2018. This is the final phase of the 2016-2018 Electoral cycle comprising Presidential, National Assembly and Council Elections.
The Central Committee took note of the announcement of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) informing the public that nomination for council elections will commence on 13th March 2018 and come to an end on 17th March 2018.
It also acknowledged the concern that PDOIS is yet to make a statement on the Council Elections while other political parties have started to campaign on their own individual party tickets.
To address the urgencies of the Council Elections and remedy the uncertainty engendered by silence the Central Committee resolved that those interested in contesting in council elections at all levels under a PDOIS ticket should apply for candidature by sending their application letters to their respective ward, regional or municipal committees which should be copied to the Central Committee for notification. Should there be more than one applicant for any single seat, the contestants will be required to discuss to build consensus on how to select one among their number or hold a primary for one candidate to be selected as required by the PDOIS party Constitution, rules and procedures.
The Central Committee acknowledges that the party has played a pioneering and prominent role in promoting the candidature of an independent Presidential candidate and would have preferred a transitional non-partisan membership at the National Assembly and council levels, so as to give Gambia a new start, characterised by the smooth levelling of the political field to ensure a free and fair multi party contest in the next electoral cycle. Needless to say, some party leaders have argued that after the presidential elections electoral contest should be on partisan basis to prevent their political parties from dying.
Despite the fact that the status quo is the promotion of elections on a partisan basis the Central Committee is of the view that the multi partisan or multi sectorial primaries which took place during the convention to select a Presidential Candidate and in Banjul during the National assembly elections to select a National Assembly Candidate is good practice in a period of transitional politics. It has proven to be a means of promoting people centred selection of candidates under a transitional nonpartisan administration rather than a one party centred selection of candidates.
Hence the Central Committee would want all those who are to contest under PDOIS ticket to be ready to participate in primary involving independent and party candidates in order to come up with a consensus candidate who could unify residents of Municipalities, Regions and Wards in promotion of the principle of one Gambia, one Nation, and one People. They should be ready stand against any candidate who wishes to promote the interest of an individual party alone or a personality.