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PDOIS on the united front

Aug 9, 2011, 1:33 PM

Statement from the Central Committee of PDOIS on the Establishment of a United Front for the Opposition for the 2011 Presidential Elections - 7th AUGUST 2011

The Central Committee of the People’s Democratic Organisation For Independence and Socialism (PDOIS), has acknowledged the increase in the number of people who seek clarification on the way forward for building a United Front for the 24 November Presidential Polls in the Gambia.

The Central Committee has deliberated on the concerns of the people especially, the question whether it is not too late in the day to form a United Front and still build a momentum for success.

The Central Committee would wish to convey to the Gambian people that it is still not late in the day for a United Front to be established if it is indeed the wish of the vast majority of voters in The Gambia.

In its deliberation the Central Committee observed that in 1996 the ban on political parties was not lifted until 14th August 1996.

The parties were given from 2nd to 30th of August 1996 to Register as Political Parties. This is when the UDP and the NRP registered for the first time.

The Presidential elections took place on 26 September 1996, weeks after the registration of political parties, and 18 days after the official campaign period.

Despite this fact the incumbent had 56 percent of the votes.

This is less than the margin of victory in 2006 after Political parties have been in existence for 10 years.

The Central Committee observed that Political Parties have been in existence for 15 years and their activities or otherwise are fully acknowledged by the people.

It is evident that they have more than two solid months including August to arrive at a consensus and more than a whole month to Campaign for the Candidate of a United Front.

We should therefore focus on the task of building a United Front rather than pontificate on the effects of a failure. This is the first point.

In this regard, the Central Committee conceives the delay in initiating talks to establish a United Front to the failure by some political parties to formulate and publish their negotiating position for the establishment of a United Front for general information for other stakeholders in particular and the public at large.

 PDOIS therefore considers it urgent and does ardently propose that each party issues a written declaration on the type of United Front it subscribes to for the consideration of all other parties in particular and the public at large.

This would create the basis for the public to compare the various suggestions and express their opinions on the type of United Front that is most appealing and is most likely to succeed or support the holding of inter-party dialogue to iron out divergences and come up with a consensual formula.

PDOIS has resolved to conduct a Nationwide tour to remind the people that it has been transparent and concrete about its proposal for a United Front which involves the selection of one candidate by the people to administer a transitional administration for a period of no more than one term that would not be characterized by any misconduct in governance and that would hand over to a democratically elected government after opening both the public and private media to divergent views.

Since the Radio and TV continue to broadcast the meetings of the President, PDOIS will continue its sensitisation tours during August to keep our messages alive.

Furthermore as of 3rd September 2011, PDOIS will hold major rallies for a period of two weeks to determine the level of public support for a United Front.

These meetings must be supported massively by those who support the establishment of a United Front to be deemed successful and convincing.

They must be bigger than the artificial crowd the APRC is drawing during the official tour of the President to prove that the opposition should be taken seriously and that we are serious about establishing a United Front.

This is the challenge PDOIS is putting out to the voters. People should put their efforts where their hearts are if we are to convince each other that we could move together to be the architects of a new Gambia.

We have only ourselves to blame if we fail to join others and build a respectable crowd that could show that we are serious about building a United Front for the elections.

These rallies would be followed by a proposal for the convening of a National Conference at a Hall or field  that could accommodate more than a thousand people from all over the country  to promote dialogue by all stakeholders such as political parties, youth organisations, women organisations, Committee of elders in the opposition, other civil societies and individuals to determine the way forward for the establishment of a United Front and the selection of a single Candidate for the opposition for the Presidency.

Such a National Conference would strive to attract concerned persons who consider it their National birth right to determine the destiny of the Country.

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