May 24, 2010, 2:04 PM
An influential Gambian opposition leader cum current Governor of the Lower River Region, Lamin Waa Juwara has predicted that if all goes well, President Jammeh will win the next Presidential elections in 2011 with a landslide victory, for what he described as the lack of credible opposition challenge.
"It is my candid opinion and observation that all being one, President Jammeh will win the next Presidential elections landslide because as of now, there is no credible opposition challenge. We must admit our total failure," Waa told this paper, in an exclusive interview yesterday.
His comments follow that of Omar Jallow, alias OJ, the leader of the opposition Peoples Progressive Party, who earlier pronounced that the Gambian opposition parties were not dead but instead in a state of coma.
OJ told the Daily News in a recent interview that "since 2001 when the ban on opposition parties was lifted, their problem has been, and still is how they can bury their individual interests, party, tribal, and ideological interests to serve the bigger picture, which is The Gambia".
However, this is not the case in the view of Waa Juwara. For him, the opposition is not in a coma but completely dead.
"To say that the oppositions are in a state of coma is an understatement because they are not functional anymore. People have deserted them completely. I want to be on record to say that the opposition is not in coma but they are dead and what is required is to bury them and that is what the people are demanding", Waa said. According to him, the reasons are very clear and simple.
"After coming together in an opposition alliance and signed an MOU which spelt out clearly that what the parties require is to go through a primary in the selection of a leader, they (opposition) decided to play dirty tricks and held the people in contempt and decided to flout that important democratic credentials", he said.
He stated that they (the opposition) held the people in contempt instead of submitting themselves to a primary, where the people will decide and thus engage themselves in political 'horse-trading'.
"The UDP/NRP then pulled out for leadership reasons claiming that Ousainou Darboe should be the leader, contrary to what we have signed in the MOU," Waa said.
According to him, NADD also decided to choose a presidential candidate without involving the people and the results was very catastrophic.
"Both sides lost disgracefully because the people decided to vote for Presidential Jammeh and some decided to stay away because they were not involved in the process of selecting a candidate.
"The collapse of NADD is because of leadership. Those who claim to be born as the natural leaders of any organisation have been taught a lesson that the people know better. How can you claim that the government is not democratic when you don't even have a democratic dispensation within your own party," Waa lamented.
He went further to advise OJ to forget the idea of an opposition alliance in the country as, according to him, the alarm was sounded that if they pull out of NADD alliance, the opposition would be committing suicide.
He noted that Gambians are currently focused and want to be part and parcel of the development agenda of the government instead of engaging in "useless opposition partisan politics that is geared only towards self interest".
Waa advised Gambians to make their own contributions to the development agenda of the government, which he said, is non-partisan.
"My advice to the people in The Gambia is that let them make their own contributions to the development agenda of the government, which is non-partisan," he said.
The principal political parties, however, constitute a true multiparty, and democratic political culture.