Gambia – Gambia’s failed ruling party, APRC, ended its one-day congress last week amid veiled calls by some of the delegates for President Yahya Jammeh to be given the nod to rule for life.

Yahya was elected unopposed last week to lead his party for another five years and political analysts said he is automatically APRC’s presidential candidate in the next election.

A close observer in Banjul told Freedom that in the coming years, a resolution may be adopted to declare the 50-year old president for life.

“There is every indication that this president wants to rule for life and some of the party delegates at the congress want him to carry on as president for life,” the observer said.

He added: “Many sympathizers in the party seriously thinking about it. In the not-too-distant future, they may start pushing for this.

“Yahya in fact wants this to happen sooner rather than later. He is defiant and wants to carry on as president. He thinks stepping down is not an option because Gambians love him.

“But this is completely divorced from the reality. I think the reason why he doesn’t want to step down is because he thinks there would be a reprisal for all the bad things he has done as president.

“His desire is to cling to power for the rest of his life despite dividing the country during his long rule. He will rather die than step aside.”

Meanwhile, the 10the cabinet retreat started yesterday in Kanilai with Yahya Jammeh presiding. Indications are that Yahya is trying to build his power base ahead of the election. However, analysts said that, in a fair election, Yahya was likely to lose because Gambians are tired of him.

Written By A Correspondent In Banjul

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