Young Gambians Forge Ahead: New Political Candidates to Challenge Barrow in 2026

Ousman Touray

By: Modou Lamin Age-Almusaf Sowe

While the dust of politics settled down in Senegal briskly, the wind is still blowing in The Gambia, where young Gambians are chatting about how to put up a young candidate to unseat President Barrow in 2026. A viral video that emerged on Instagram and TikTok got young Gambians talking about their preferred candidate for the presidency in the next two years. The video that recommended entrepreneur Bob Keita and Pan-Africanist Ousman Touray to run for president in 2026 went beyond social media to ghettos and villages in the Gambia.

The aftereffects of the recently concluded Senegalese presidential elections have encouraged Gambian youth to either form a political party or have a say in their political affairs. Seeing young Bassirou Diomaye Faye emerge as president of Senegal, together with Ousman Sonko, has better equipped young Gambians to hold their leaders accountable and start vying for the presidency. 

Suggestions had it that vibrant young Gambians like Jaha Dukureh, Kemo Bojang of the UDP, Omar Champion Cham of the National Youth Parliament, poet Cherno Gaye, among others, should start thinking about the political development of their country beyond party- politics and political affiliations. How about young Gambians uniting and forming a political party? A lot of names were mentioned on social media by young people in this discourse.

In the small West African nation of The Gambia, winds of change are stirring as a group of young, determined individuals have come together to form a new political party with the ambitious goal of unseating President Adama Barrow in the upcoming 2026 elections. This development marks a significant moment in the country’s political landscape, signaling a shift towards a more dynamic and inclusive approach to governance.

The Gambia, known for its vibrant culture and rich history, has grappled with political instability and authoritarian rule in the past. President Adama Barrow, who came to power in 2016 following a historic election, was initially seen as a beacon of hope for the country’s democratic transition. However, his administration has faced criticism for its handling of various issues, including human rights abuses, corruption allegations, and economic challenges.

Against this backdrop, a group of young Gambians, disillusioned with the current state of affairs and eager for change, have taken matters into their own hands by thinking about forming a new political party. Drawing inspiration from the values of democracy, transparency, and inclusivity, the party aims to offer a fresh alternative to the existing political establishment and represent the aspirations of the country’s youth and marginalized communities.

The emergence of this new political force will reflect a growing sentiment among young Gambians that their voices have been overlooked and their concerns neglected by the ruling elite. By actively engaging in the political process and seeking to challenge the status quo, these young activists are demonstrating a commitment to shaping the future of their country and building a more democratic and equitable society.

As they embark on this bold venture, the founders and leaders of the new political party are unknown, but might face numerous challenges, including navigating the complexities of the Gambian political landscape, mobilizing support across diverse communities, and overcoming entrenched interests. However, their determination and vision for a better future for The Gambia are driving them forward, galvanizing a new generation of leaders who are willing to stand up and be counted.

The success of this young, grassroots movement will depend on its ability to connect with voters, articulate a compelling vision for the country’s future, and build a broad-based coalition of supporters. They are likely to face resistance and skepticism from entrenched political forces and vested interests. However, their resilience and commitment to democratic principles will be crucial in overcoming these obstacles and making their voices heard.

In the run-up to the 2026 elections, all eyes will be on young people as it seeks to challenge President Adama Barrow and offer a viable alternative to the Gambian electorate. Regardless of the outcome, the emergence of this movement signals a new chapter in The Gambia’s political history, one that is defined by the energy and idealism of its young citizens who are determined to shape the destiny of their nation.

As the conversation unfolds and the political debate intensifies, the coming years are likely to be filled with excitement, uncertainty, and hope. The journey ahead will be arduous, but the resilience and determination of these young Gambians offer a glimmer of optimism for a brighter future for The Gambia, built on the principles of democracy, justice, and progress.

In conclusion, the formation of a new political party by young people is likely possible and represents a transformative moment in The Gambia’s democratic journey, symbolizing the power of young people to effect meaningful change and shape the country.

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