‘Democracy is built on the Principle of choice and Competition’- Ousman Touray

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Ousman Touray, Gambia’s youngest rising pan-Africanist, has disclosed that democracy is built on the principle of choice and competition.
He made these remarks at a recent public forum organized by the office of the presidency as part of events marking the Gambia’s fifty-eighth independence anniversary at the Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara Conference Centre in Bijilo.

“The people must have a choice, and they should not be living in fear to exhibit those choices,” Touray disclosed.

He said people must have a free and fair ground to compete in politics, the economy, and their social livelihood.

“But there is a but! and that is where the government comes in to serve as a referee to protect the minorities’ interest, to make sure that individuals are not exploited, and to make sure there is a limitation in the classes that could be established by just allowing the free force of demand and supply to control the daily livelihoods”.

With fewer than three million people, The Gambia is widely known for its peacefulness in the West Africa sub-region. Ousman says It is not a new thing that Gambians everywhere are considered peaceful individuals.

However, he was quick to say but! Unfortunately, the early warning sign of a threat to the existing peace is a daily reality.

“We see them in our community, we see them in our political parties, we see them in our daily engagements as a nation,” He added.

Mr. Touray believes this should signal to Gambians where the smiling coast nation is heading.

“Is this the actual promise of the democracy that the Gambia has championed from independence to date?” He questioned.

“We should not look at this country with its size; we should look at it as the country that champions the democratization process of Africa; when nations in Africa were going for party systems, dictatorial regimes, and more rigid ways of governing, the Gambia had already opened its space for competition and choices.”

The country’s youngest pan-Africanist believes that Gambia’s democracy has been hijacked to some extent, and currently, its citizens have the fate that they have recovered it.

“On a day to celebrate independence, if this was a new baby, then that baby is fifty-eight years old,” Ousman reminded Gambians.

“So, we must pay attention to the fact that we are no longer young as a country. We have to work and establish something concrete for this generation and other generations of Gambians to come,” Touray recommended.

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