From the look of things, it seems the opposition camp tout two potential candidates. The local UDP officially selected Adama Barrow as their presidential candidate but everyone listening to the online media knows the diaspora UDP’s preferred candidate is Dr. Isatou Touray. As such the UPD is a divided party between UDP local and UDP diaspora. It is further divided between those who are party lead advocates and those that are Independent lead candidate. The UDP is also infiltrated and disturbed by those diaspora groups that were anti-elections advocates until recently when they thought only a PHD holder and a woman for that matter is qualify to lead them. This particular non-political group has further complication the selection process by adding an independent candidate factor in addition to party lead and primary lead candidate advocates of the old opposition parties.
The fragmentation of the UDP amongst the three above camps makes the party weak. Splitting its self between the local and diaspora groups further weakens the UDP. The non-political independent candidate group canvassing the UDP has succeeded in breaking up the UDP into pieces hence the UDP, as political party is now as weak as the APRC.
The GDC as a new opposition political party has been consistent in selecting and maintaining its presidential candidate as their ONLY candidate. From the look of things, come what may, Mama Kandeh’s ballot box will be in the polling booth and it seems nothing can change that. We the observers of the political environment on the ground can attest to this fact. No GDC member, militant or sympathizer will even entertain the idea of Mama Kandeh not being a candidate. They will tell you Mama is not looking for the old opposition votes. That Mama is banking on the APRC votes, the military and security personnel votes and part of the voter apathy franchise that did not vote in the last elections of 2011.
I also did some local survey sampling amongst the APRC militants and security personnel and all of them say if Mama Kandeh is not a candidate they will vote Jammeh. Even some GDC militants say if Mama is not a candidate they will vote Jammeh. There seems to be a strong fear and resentment amongst the APRC, the security personnel and some GDC members against the UDP and its Independent candidate proxy. The APRC being the biggest party in 2011 elections is a fundamental issue not to brush aside. The opposition really needs the APRC votes to win an election in the Gambia not accepting this fact amounts to wishful thinking.
I remember Halifa Sallah of PDOIS attesting to this fact during an interview with Freedom some months ago. Mr. Pa Nderry Mbye can replay that soundbite to refresh our memories. Halifa Sallah being one of the oldest politician and a social scientist on the ground is a reference in our political discusses not to underestimate.
From the above it is clear that a Dr. Touray/ UDP combination will not and cannot draw votes from the APRC and the security personnel.
Elections are about numbers and voters cannot be force to vote for any particular candidate. Only free will counts.
From the above analyses one can say there are two potential candidates against Jammeh and for sure Mama Kandeh stands a better chance to win both Jammeh and Isatou Touray than any one them winning him.
Stay tune for more to come.
Written By Baboucarr Bonjang.