The Gambia is displaying to the entire world that it is a mature country with a peace-loving and responsible people. The presidential elections campaign has been going on without any incident. Rival parties are holding rallies throughout the entire country. Gambians are freely showing their support to the party of their choice. The Gambian Radio Television Services (GRTS), every day, is giving each party the same amount of time to present its agenda. Gambian armed services are showing true professionalism in protecting all rallies. Since the beginning of the campaign, no serious incident has been reported.
One may say there is no need to underline a peaceful campaign is going on because that is what is expected. However, in the African context, elections are very often moments of crisis and violence. In the Gambian context, one may not expect peaceful and fair elections because the Gambia is often unjustly portrayed as a dictatorship or failed state.
The Gambia, as it often does, is proving wrong naysayers and prophets of doom through an ongoing peaceful presidential campaign. The governing party, APRC is not getting any favor from the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) and the incumbent President is not spared off harsh criticism and even personal attacks on national TV. This should make all of us proud. Since the beginning of the elections, no party has complained about censorship or unbalanced coverage by the National Television. The campaign signals how the elections will be: fair and transparent. The candidate with the largest population support will win.
Anyone who watches Gambian National TV or monitors social media can see clearly that one candidate drags huge masses and his rallies are clear indications that he will win. That candidate is not keeping Gambians on leash and he cannot force the populations to attend his rallies when an important portion of them choose to go with other contenders. That candidate is President Jammeh. Any fair observer will tell you President Jammeh will win these elections because he enjoys more support from Gambians than any other candidate.
The other candidates of the opposition namely Adama Barrow and Mama Kandeh seem unable to convince the majority of Gambians to support them. Furthermore, the two candidates are not making Gambians dream. Instead they are trading gibes and blames over the failed efforts to form a united front. Mama Kandeh is blamed for not joining the coalition of opposition parties led by Adama Barrow. The coalition is being blamed for its lack of preparation and choice of candidate. Just listen to the rallies’ speeches. Instead of offering Gambians a better and more prosperous country, the opposition is chastising President Jammeh and blaming one another. That is not a program. On the contrary, President Jammeh is promising Gambians better living conditions, peace, and self-determination. The choice is clear!
The opposition will lose because it is divided, ill-prepared and silent on the real issues Gambians face. Criticizing President Jammeh is not a program! Blaming one another will make the incumbent win.
We are appealing to the International Community to watch closely what is happening in The Gambia and to respect Gambians’ will. The Gambia is an independent and mature democracy as the ongoing campaign proves. The polls’ result must be respected. The losers will complain and will make accusations of vote rigging. They will also use media favorable to them to taint the official results. We are already seeing signs of what is going to happen. Some media outlets that are raising money for the opposition are already planning to publish their own polls’ results even if they are based and run outside The Gambia and have no reporters on the grounds. One online platform, The Fatu Network has already given free publicity to individuals who promised to hack Gambia’s official websites before the publication of the results.
We are calling on the so-called International Community to denounce any announced or actual sabotage of Gambian elections. We are calling on them to recognize and accept the choice of Gambians and not to turn an attentive ear to partisan media. We are calling on them to recognize and salute the fair and peaceful ongoing campaign.
At The inquirer we will strive to publish, on a daily basis, Gambian Radio and Television Services’ coverage of the presidential elections so that to allow the entire world to witness what is going on in The Gambia and respectfully accept the polls’ results. We are also publishing on our Facebook page pictures and videos of the rallies coming from ordinary Gambians on the grounds. Our objective is to let the world witness what is going on in The Gambia and foresee the polls’ results.
The Gambia Inquirer