Gambia 2016 Elections, News

Gambia’s Opposition Challenged To Select Presidential Candidate

Some of the Gambia's opposition leaders
Some of the Gambia’s opposition leaders

(JollofNews) – An opposition leader in the Gambia has challenged other opposition parties in the country to come up with proposals on how a flag bearer to take on President Yahya Jammeh in the December presidential elections would be selected.

Halifa Sallah of the People’s Democratic Organisation for Independence and Socialism (PDOIS) said as the elections draws near, other parties should start selecting their prospective leaders to enable them to discuss and reach a consensus.

The Gambia will hold presidential elections in December 2016, with legislative and local polls to follow in April 2017 and April 2018.

The tiny West African nation of less than two million people has been ruled by Yahya Jammeh since 1994, when the then 29-year-old seized power in a bloodless coup.

Mr Sallah observed that while the ground is not level for free and fair electoral contest in the country, many people have expressed support for a coalition in order to increase the strength of the opposition to win elections.

He added: “The evidence indicates that the largest opposition party which contested the last presidential election in 2011 had 17 per cent of the votes while the candidate of the ruling party had 72 per cent. This gap needs to be bridged before the 2016 presidential elections.

“PDOIS is of the view that in order for that gap to be filled, the country must identify a presidential candidate who would be embraced by people who voted for or against the ruling party in 2011 and those who did not vote at all.”

The former National Assembly member for Serrekunda Central said:

halifa sallah pdois leader and presidential candidate
halifa sallah PDOIS leader and presidential candidate

“To make that doubly sure, PDOIS proposes for each party to select its presidential candidate as soon as practicable. The candidates, including independent aspirants, should begin their campaign and engage in debates right away so that the voters would begin to make up their minds on the quality of leadership they intend to give support. Each party should then indicate how it wants the flag bearer to be selected. This should also be debated in the public space.”

He added that his party has forwarded its proposal to GOFER, the group established by the opposition, which is also copied to all member parties requesting for the convening of a meeting when all parties send their own proposals, they are yet to receive any proposal from any other party.

“No party has yet indicated how a flag-bearer is to be selected for discussion to commence to reach a consensus,” Mr Sallah told Foroyaa newspaper.

“It is urgent for all parties to be urged to do so if they are indeed interested in a coalition.

He added that if his party is selected to lead the opposition alliance to victory, it would appoint only seven ministers in a cabinet of 21 ministers and  would serve only one term and not take sides in the subsequent presidential and National Assembly electoral contests.

He said this would allow any partner that considers itself to have more support of voters in the past elections could request for more ministerial posts and more seats in the National Assembly and be in the majority in both chambers.


  1. Coalition cannot be hold when the main opposition party (UDP) leader is behind the bars. Jammeh knows that this year gonna be tough for him that why he is detaining Ousainou Darboe at mile 2 prison. Only a power drunk and a greedy leader like Jammeh will love to stay in power after 22 years in office. Nonetheless we have seen or heard how such greedy leaders like Jammeh end up in power by killing them mercilessly or end up being refugees or end their life in prison.

    Gambians are crying for peace and no one is crying for justice. if you are to say truth in the Gambia you will be considered the enemy of the government or Jammeh, which means the peace we have in our country (Gambia) is without truth but the peace of fear and lies. Why freedom of expression is not a fundamental right in the Gambia? is the government belongs to the people or people belongs to the government?

    All the stakeholders should come together with their supporters at the high court on the 2nd June, 2016 to see Darboe is release because we all know Justice Dada will not be fair on Darboe and co-case. Justice Otaba is a God fearing justice not human fearing justice that why he quit because justice is not seen to be done. the case started with conflict and shall surely end up in violence.

    calling on all the security personnel in the Gambia to know them self and respect the right of citizens as stated in the 1997 constitution on section 25. Jammeh fooling stupid peoples in the Gambia telling them oppositions want to bring war like in Syria which is only comfort to a full. spending 30days in the forest,at the borders,kanilai farms etc at the end they (security) are not paid nothing but 1200 (cost of bag of rice) when Jammeh is inviting foreign celebrities giving them millions of Dalasi when you the securities are standing on your feet 24/7 with less payment. And you (the securities) in turn to beat your fellow Gambians who are struggling for our liberation as a nation.
    Never allow foolish command from your seniors who are already recorded in the black book of the the majority. Jammeh is on his final months and those who are loyal to him will all be considered as the enemies of progress.


    • Not a clue what you’re trying to put across #IdaColly. First off, best you go back to school and learn some proper English before you come on here securing “a platform” to insult Gambians and the entire security fraternity. People like you are simply not worth listening to due to the fact that you have such tiny brains and narrow-minded. I’m struggling to figure out where you sat writing this garbage, have a lot of free time at your disposal I guess. I can only hope you are not one of those reckless unpatriotic mouthpieces in the diaspora who yell abuse at fellow Gambians at home each time you open your gob. Base your stories on facts and don’t let your emotions get the better of you. For a start, no opposition party or leader in The Gambia has ever been a threat let alone a serious threat to Jammeh and the APRC from day one. Check the stats and records. The leaders of opposition parties and their followers know that. Not even in 2006 when Darboe & Bah formed an alliance after the rest of the other opposition groups pulled out of the coalition. No trust or unity amongst themselves and it feels as though every man for himself and his idelology. Don’t fool yourself by believing Darboe somehow posed a threat to Jammeh unless you’re living in a cave. Now we can argue all we want but the fact of the matter is there’s no credible opposition in The Gambia at the moment no matter how hard they try to convince us, the conscious lot. Here you are, like many of your backward-thinking colleagues, calling on all to come out in numbers on that fateful day in June on a protest st the court….. question i have for you is: Are you gonna show up, identify yourself and be at the forefront? Don’t engage people in acts that you’re not prepared to do yourself. It’s selfish, cowardly and wrong. We know from history that those aspiring to lead nations with the hope of foreign intervention fake and a fraud. These people must never be trusted as actions and policies are largely dependent on the dictates of their “foreign masters”. It’s a “listen to me and do as you’re told, else you’re gone” relationship. I refer you to watch “the French-Africa connection” documentary. That alone shows you why to this day, most African countries are still trapped in poverty despite all the natural resources we have. Democracy is a dirty game and is often used in disguise. Check for yourself the current situations in Lybia, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, DR Congo, Sudan etc. When the west “condemns” certain heads of states and governments and labelled them dictators is usually down to the fact that those leaders have repeatedly refused to be told what to do, usually things that serve their interest. Africa must wake up and take a true stance cos no-one would ever come from afar to develop our continent for us, we must do it ourselves. We must equally study very closely those who have the interest of the people st heart and those who are always quick to cry foul hoping for some foreign intervention. Why is it that everytime we have our differences somehow we look up to the west to intervene and resolve it? I’m yet to see a European issue or problem where an African is consulted to help find a solution. Independence? what independence??????… call Uncle Sam. Be yourself and be more realistic cos that’s the true path to unity, peace, progress and prosperity. God Bless Gambia and the entire continent #Longlive

      • Well, you are so well right bass. but how can this beloved country be developed with the persisting level of underachieving plans and goals.
        It is obvious that we should not encourage external intervention in both mental and physical due to their spurious and uncivilized nature.
        The absolute questions to me are;
        is Pro. Jammeh still able to main and move forward.
        was he able to utilize the limited available resources to achieve our needs(his vision).
        was he able to convert his vision in the real life aspect.
        was he able to measure the value of human life, of «freedom», from sickness and pain, safety on the streets, of clean air, food security and opportunities for achievement.
        did we have any other legible someone who can also atlist fulfill suchlike.
        ***longlive peaceful The Gambia !***peaceful. well note that I am a student for any mistakes and misunderstanding.