Sep 29, 2009, 6:08 AM
Since 2011 is an election year, it is prudent that people across the country, including politicians and security forces, ensure political tolerance at all cost.
The recent developments in Nyakoi Kerewan are not healthy for our democracy, and forms part of political intolerance.
The 1997 Constitution of The Gambia gives each and every citizen the right to support any political party they wish to.
Lack of political tolerance is a problem that can create confusion and chaos in society, thus undermining unity and peace.
The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) and political leaders should speak out against any attempt to stop people from exercising their constitutional rights.
A culture of tolerance is all about debate and dynamic exchanges of opinions and arguments, whereby people can learn from others, get closer to the truth, and benefit from a vibrant public life.
Developing a culture of tolerance removes the roots of intolerance, and is necessary for the democratic process.
Political tolerance, therefore, means accepting and respecting the basic rights and civil liberties of persons and groups whose viewpoints differ from one’s own.
All Gambians, irrespective of political affiliation, have a responsibility to practise political tolerance in their words and actions.
In fact, political tolerance is a key principle of true democracy.
Our politicians must understand that in any society in which people are not allowed to express their political feelings undermines political tolerance.
Political intolerance on the other hand has serious consequences.
No one or group should be harassed for manifesting their support for a particular registered political party!
We must maintain political tolerance for the betterment of our homeland, The Gambia.