Now that the UDP has filed an election petition at the Supreme Court, we wait to see the outcome.
Taking any grievances to the apex court, as stipulated in our elections laws; and, as recommended by all persons and entities calling for post-election calm, is the way to go.
The African Union Election Observer Mission (AUEOM) in its preliminary report, for instance, called on “all stakeholders to remain calm during and after the electoral process.
“The mission urges any stakeholder dissatisfied with the electoral process to seek redress through the established legal and institutional mechanisms.”
Several other election observers, local and international, including the EU, ECOWAS, and Commonwealth, among others, also made similar calls.
Ahead of the crucial NAMs election in April 2022, the UDP’s going to court – as did a few of the rejected presidential aspirants seeking nomination – would help further highlight the imperfections of a system which always puts the opposition at a disadvantage.
President-elect Adama Barrow is already on record as publicly expressing his wish for an overwhelming NPP majority in the country’s legislature, as well as in the municipal and area councils.
Should it happen, this without a doubt would help further highlight the lack of a level playing field in the political arena, as mentioned in the EUEOM preliminary statement, among other such findings.
Therefore, it is misleading and detrimental to proper public enlightenment to reduce winning and losing elections in Gambia to the processes on Election Day.
Definitely, there is more to it than just that – the voting, counting and declaration of results.
Otherwise, for example, Jammeh would not have reportedly collected voters cards at the APRC Kanifing bureau, in his aborted plan to steal the 2016 election.
Nor would he send the police and NIA to the Upper Saloum Constituency to confiscate voters cards in the possession of persons deemed “Senegalese”, thus enabling the APRC to wrest that constituency from the NRP.
Moreover, another huge win for the NPP in April will take us back to the era of one-party dominance of the national political space.
It will also expose as false the claim that defeating Yahya Jammeh in 2016 was proof that you can unseat an incumbent through the ballot box.
Indeed, another Barrow win in April will prove the contrary; it will show that in Gambia, as elsewhere, it takes more than voting to remove an incumbent.
The empirical evidence shows the PPP being in office for around 30 years, and it took a coup to change their government.
The APRC of Yahya Jammeh could also win elections back to back for two decades, thanks to the perennial absence of a level playing field in the country’s political arena.
Indeed, but for a constellation of unfavorable circumstances, Yahya Jammeh would have remained in office to this day and beyond.
Thus, the belated call for “system change” – which is a public confession of failure in mainstream politics, caused largely by an electoral system heavily skewed against the opposition.
You need to read the preliminary reports of the election observer missions of the African Union (AUEOM) and the European Union (EUEOM) to better understand how and why the incumbents in Gambia can win election public elections continuously.
TAT has publish the statements of both EOMs for the general public to better appreciate the enabling environment which guarantees that – without meaningful electoral reforms now – Barrow will continue to win big, now and in future!