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Thursday, February 22, 2024

Letters to the Editor : We Need Political Reforms

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We need political reforms

Dear Editor,

We need political reforms in The Gambia to live in a peaceful and law-abiding standard political governance system. Gambian politicians including the opposition must develop political reform ideas and agenda for government to make the Gambian democracy functional and standardised.

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Meet The People Tour may have been a good idea in the past but not in 2022!

Which democracy would make it a law that the president go around the country every year to meet the people and acquaint him or herself with their socio-economic development challenges?

Isn’t that what politics is about? Isn’t it up to politicians to present themselves to the electorate promising to address their socio-economic development challenges! But in The Gambia, it has to be written in the constitution!

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I bet Meet The People Tour will all be about Thank You Mr President for the feeder roads, donkey carts and the cooking pots. And with the parliamentary elections coming up, the president will promise to provide boreholes, take some supporters to Mecca and perhaps marry a third wife, all funded by the state!

The Meet The People Tour is another public-funded political campaign agency for the political party in government, while the opposition have no money to campaign around the country.

There’s no separation between the state and the political party in government in The Gambia. The political party in government is entirely funded by the state and all the institutions of the state including the supreme court and the IEC are supposed to support the government which means the political party in government.

Yet, the opposition in The Gambia do not talk about the need for political reforms. The government will never talk about political reforms under arrangements that totally favour the political party in government – access to public funds and the unfettered support of all the institutions of the state including the security services.

It makes one wonder what Gambian politics is really about particularly  opposition politicians!

Everyday, ordinary Gambians are complaining about the misuse of political power, rampant corruption and the total negligence of the government and wanting the system changed in the country.

But the opposition only project itself as agents of change accompanied by zero ideas and policy agenda for changing the system.

Most ordinary Gambians want change and reforms of politics and economics in the country.

They are simply waiting for the political leader who will sum up their political and economic development frustrations into policy ideas and agenda for government to turn things around in the country.

It’s the opposition politicians, particularly the main opposition party, that should put forward the political and economic development policy ideas for change capturing the political and economic development aspirations of the electorate.

That’s what democratic politics is about! And that’s how to win elections in a democracy!

I’d have proposed the introduction of a parliamentary democracy, the right to recall, institution of a living wage, the creation of the position of the official opposition which means the official opposition will receive public funds to hold the government accountable in doing its job, and ask the Senegalese troops to leave The Gambia within six months after the election!

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