Hold your guns and read on first because making a judgment.
It is a hard fact that political parties do not own the electorate. Anyone who thinks that the electorate is a herd to be directed by a shepherd is making the biggest mistake of his life. Human being are free people, they will only vote for a person they like and love. No party or political leader can force any electorate to vote for some one they don’t like, not accepting this UNIVERSAL truth is thinking like a dictator. The element of force does not exist in a voting process, it the free will of the voters that determines a winner or looser. People have a choice to make and that choice can be different from the parties’ choice.
Having said the above, why do I say that Mama Kandeh is the most likely candidate to win Jammeh in the coming elections. Mama Kandeh hails from the ranks of the APRC as such he is former colleague that can be trusted by would be defectors from the APRC which up to the contrary is the biggest political party in the Gambia. Pulling voters from the APRC is a BIG Plus for Mama Kandeh and the opposition.
In as much as Gambians hate Yaya Jammeh and want to see him go we should NEVER loose sight that there are people who are not directly affected by his regime. People might sympathize with some Jammeh victims but are not necessarily sympathizers of the opposition parties. These people will not vote for the hardcore opposition for fear of reprisals, they will either vote for Mama Kandeh for the sake of peaceful change or abstain from voting thus creating a voter apathy situation.
The Gambia is faced with a very delicate situation of simple majority vote system as such if we make the mistake of selecting a person who is not popular amongst the majority of the electorate, we will fail miserably. We shall NEVER commit this fatal mistake.
Election is competition and the candidate should be liked and loved by the people for him to emerge a winner. If people do not like the candidate contesting no matter how many parties endorse that candidate will fail. Is this truth hard to understand in a choice selection process?
If communism failed in front of capitalism it is simply because the choices available in a capitalist system does not exist in a communist system. Freedom of choice is a fundamental RIGHT of a people that should never be set aside.
Those of us on the ground clearly know that Mama Kandeh is the most talked about choice of the majority of the people sympathetic and ready to change Jammeh. Mama Kandeh is also the most politically experienced when compared to Adama Barrow and Isatou Touray. Mama Kandeh started politics in 1996 being the campaign manager of Hamath Bah. When Hamath Bah lost the elections Mama went back to Germany. He was recalled by late Bouba Baldeh to come and contest the parliamentary elections under the APRC ticket and won Adama Barrow by a large margin in Jimara constituency.
Whiles being a member of parliament for 10 years, Mama Kandeh was amongst the initiators of the AU (African Union) Parliament in Ethiopia. Whiles being a member of the AU parliament Mama had the chance of meeting many political leaders in the African continent as well as world leaders who had dealings with the AU Parliament for 8 years. Mama Kandeh headed three AU commissions during his tenure being selected by his African peers in one of them and won a voting process for selection of chairmanship twice. If little Gambia can achieve these honorable credits amongst African colleagues what are Gambians looking further?
The likes of Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and John Mahatma both presidents of Mali and Ghana respectively where close colleagues of Mama Kandeh in the AU parliament.
Neither Adama Barrow nor Isatou Touray have the kind of exposure Mama Kandeh has in the African continent. Come on Gambia what else do we want?
I personally and STRONGLY encourage Mama Kandeh not to give up for we on the ground know you have everything it takes to be a president. I pray that GOD open the heart of those Gambians especially in the diaspora that think that only the political parties choice can win Jammeh for they cannot see that one cannot FORCE a candidate on a free people in a free contest.
NB: My article does not necessarily reflect the Editorial choice.
Written By Baboucarr Bojang.
Editor’s note: Thanks Baboucarr Bojang for the disclaimer. In all fairness, Mama Kandeh should be encouraged to join his colleagues at the Convention so that a flag bearer can be identified. This notion that other parties should back Mama, in our opinion, sounds dictatorial. Democracy is a process and all aspiring leaders should embrace such values without imposing one’s might or popularity against the other. No single party can survive under the rigged political process. Let the GDC get that!!!
The Gambia has reached a point that parties should unite in the spirit of replacing the bad government in place. It’s not politics as usual, as some might think. Our country is at the brink of total collapse. We need sincere, God fearing, and united opposition to bail the country out from the current miseries Jammeh exposed our people to. We can only have one President at a time. Let the opposition unite against one candidate and fight Jammeh.
The Freedom Newspaper will assert its position on the issues at hand on Sunday, during our Leral show. It’s not too late for the GDC to reconsider its position to team up with progressive Gambians to send Jammeh packing come December. United we stand, divided we fall.