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Legitimate power is obtained through ballot box - GPDP leader

Mar 8, 2011, 12:40 PM | Article By: Sainey M.K. Marenah

The leader of the opposition Gambia Party for Democracy and Progress, Henry Gomez, has opined that it was time for African leaders to understand that it is through the vote or ballot box that legitimate power is obtained.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with this reporter last weekend, Gomez also said that those who deny others freedom, justice and peace, do not deserve it themselves and that, under a just God, will never get it.

He said the current situation prevailing in North Africa and the Arab world is a clear indication of the suppression of the people's voice, choice and will by a few who claim ownership of power.

According to the GPDP leader, democracy and democratic discipline, as it stands, is the only process where the people's voice, choice and will is rightly and justly represented and manifested or expressed.

"The power struggle in Ivory Coast, Kenya, and Zimbabwe is another situation where we have observed that the voice, choice and the will of the people is trampled upon by a few power hungry individuals, who want to own power at the detriment of their own people and countries," he remarked.

In his view, history tells us that all military coups in Africa are due to overstaying in power and clinging to power.

"These incidents degrade and undermine the spirit and discipline of fair play, and the most precious qualities of human attitudes such as trust, respect, justice, peace and love. At this pinnacle of world civilization and development, there is no room for situations where people have to end up taking power by force," he added.

He challenged and reminded African leaders that they must try to understand that the people make the country, noting that time has come for those who represent the people in power, parliament or assemblies to know that the people come first, as they voted for them and pay their offices.

Henry Gomez also is of the conviction that time has come for the people to be honestly and sincerely given a priority by those representing them.

He also called on African leaders to manifest a high and very mature standard of democratic values, so as to become contenders in the global democratization process.