Feb 26, 2014, 9:40 AM
The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has approved the candidature of President Yahya Jammeh, Ousainou Darboe and Hamat Bah, respectively the standard-bearers of the Alliance for Patriotic Re-orientation and Construction (APRC), the United Democratic Party (UDP), and independent candidate under the banner of the United Front, for the November 24th November presidential election.
In their post-nomination interviews with journalists last Thursday, all the three successful candidates bared their minds on the presidential race.
President Jammeh is so sure of defeating his opponents that he is now looking forward with eagerness to a tumultuous victory celebration on November 25th.
He believes that his development record gives him a competitive edge over the other contestants, saying that the elections will not be between him and the opposition, but for Gambians to choose between progress and retrogression.
Ousainou Darboe, on the other hand, urges the electorate to be circumspect in their choice of leader, and appealed to them to shun material inducements. Like the APRC candidate, he believes that, come 24th November, Darboe will be The Gambia’s president.
Like his counterparts, Hamat Bah is also confident of victory, saying that Gambians want a change and this will be done, come 24th November.
However, it is our belief that neither past achievements, affirmation, nor ideas alone determine electoral success.
Success at the polls is a combination of all these, and much more. Charisma, sound judgment and opportunity are also crucial.
All the presidential candidates would be wise to carry out a survey on what Gambians want, and then see how best they can meet those challenges.
There are three crucial areas that we would like to have all three presidential hopefuls to give due consideration to. These are energy, youth employment and agriculture.
They must never pay lip-service to any of these sectors.
A reliable, steady energy sector is a prerequisite for a successful industrial take-off. All-year agricultural activities will guarantee our economic independence and self-esteem as a people.
Creating employment opportunities for our youths will ensure sustainable national peace and development.
We also wish to commend supporters of all the political parties for conducting themselves with unparalleled discipline and sportsmanship, since the commencement of the campaign on Saturday.
We want to see this trend continue throughout the campaign, on election-day and beyond.
“Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding”