Nov 6, 2020, 12:27 PM
It is interesting that political realism has gone out of the heads of many of our politicians nowadays. There seems to be so much nervousness about tribalism in Gambian politics.
The evolution from 'no limit' to 'two term limit' has been largely successful in some countries, but one term limit is even much more promising. The advantages of One term limit includes fairer playing field by eliminating incumbency, less politics driven policies and decisions, less violent protests to unseat a leader, more cautious leadership, etc. Any fear you may have about the possible dangers of one term limit should be gauged through the last term of the average leader where term limit exists. Two term limit was a Republican initiative, one term limit is an African suggestion, but for worldwide implementation. We should judiciously gauge the realistic advantages and 'disadvantages', then pushed for it through the opposition's manifestoes, smart guardrails, and introducing of bills for its realization.
Less Politics Driven Policies and Decisions: Many countries suffer because the leadership focus on personal or political interest (calculation) than national interest, especially during the first term. Mr. Barrack Obama of the U.S was caught admitting he was delaying some of the things he thought was good for the u.s until his second term. Beside him, it is no secret that most leaders do much better in their final terms and largely because they fear less and apply their conscience then. Mr. Donald Trump is believed to be enforcing some of his worst policies to appeal to his base for relection. My point is political calculation can delay or deny you the best of folks and give you the worst of folks. How does seeking re-election contributes to Trump's covid-19 deadly decisions versus if the u.s had one term limit? Feel free to blame Trump, but the fact remains many folks from both parties would have made varying political consideration. Two term limit or seeking re-election contribute to u.s and worldwide deaths, so let us usher one term limit to make it easier for future leaders and ourselves. Even in third world countries, Mr. Adama Barrow of the Gambia has legalized gambling and bleaching to appeal to female voters than financial interest or even justice. The evidence is how he skipped legalizing hemp and marijuana, which has multi-billion dollar potentials, far more healthy than bleaching, cigarette, etc, but largely frowned at by many elderly voters with bleaching wives and daughters. Despite the fact that you cannot walk five minutes without seeing a bleaching person in Gambia's inner cities, there is almost no Gambian in prison for bleaching; but how many male youths are in prison and suffering in other ways due to our outdated marijuana laws? Even as simple as physical addressing of the country, political calculation on the naming of streets was vividly on the mind of a senior official I do not want to name. Count the bad political motivating decisions you know and imagine how many exist behind the curtain? One term limit would have likely changed the Gambia and xyz for better on many fronts. Seeking re-election is certainly part of what delays our progress, from political reaching out appointments, through political sacking, to political policies.
Less violent protests to unseat a leader: When the populace understand they have very limited time to deal with a leader, it gives hope for change and room to tolerate until election time. Anyone who has been following world events can see how protests to unseat leaders can be very dangerous. Whereas many western countries hardly protest to unseat leaders, Syria, Libya, and many countries are clear evidence that the whole world can be affected when countries destabilize. The reason why some Gambians were protesting about the '3 years Jotna (time is up)' is not because of the two remaining years of President Barrow, but they fear he may win and seven or twelve years is too long for them. If the Gambia's constitution had one term limit, that dangerous protest was less likely to take place. Considering few injuries, We were semi-lucky on ours, but we risk another dangerous protest if Barrow wins, especially with a small margin. All parties, especially opposition leaders must consider having one term limit in their manifestoes and introduce bills for it. MPs who vote against one term limit should be voted out. It is not true that you cannot do much good in one term. What percentage of your predecessor's plans and policies will you continue with, where will you start to finish in a term, and where will you lay vivid foundations to impress even your opponents within and outside your party to finish up? The job of a true leader is to think and teach than to order or dictate. After making impressive decisions while in office, you will have an influencing opinion than many elite politicians. Show us you are capable of teaching and influencing, not just ordering.
Eliminating Power of Incumbency: Party incumbency will remain, but candidate incumbency will disappear for our general good. Political analysts and history taught us it is hard to defeat an incumbent. So most interesting presidential election exists when there is no incumbent candidate. One term limit will drive many people into politics and great presidents will be known by their abilities to train great successors, among others. The person oriented parties in many third world countries will disappear, because you will have to create political stars, with the understanding that your favorite within the party may have a heart attack or political mishap. Ex-presidents can be advisors, or serve in special councils for full allowances.
Brave and Cautious Leaders: Yes, presidents will understand they must bravely implement policies so that they start yielding fruits or their parties may be punished and legacy tainted; but they will also be cautious that the shift in the presidency will likely bring many new parties to power before they die, so they cannot bank on party protection on things like outrageous corruption and gross human right violations . First term is often a cowardly or cruel term, because they are shooting for second term; second term is often fruitful, because it is like one term and last chance; third, fourth, and xyz terms are often terrible, because they often get power drunk, arrogant, extra greedy, etc. If a president legalized marijuana or xyz in his/her first year, by the third year, s/he will know if it should be repealed or continued as other people get used to their neighbors. The folks in their parties should be gauged on what they say and how they vote, especially within the first three years. Mid term elections will be so crucial and recommended for all countries to control presidents where need be. So carefully select a president/prime minister with parliamentary powers till mid term, then decide which MPs to keep or change based on words and voting records. The disadvantages of one term limit are almost non-existent to me, and I will refer the last term of some term limit presidents as evidence. I urge media houses to challenge opposition party leaders to include it in their manifestoes, or are they claiming they are the only capable leader in their parties? I urge voters to never vote any leader for second term, because the world must evolve. If your favorite leader cannot train at least three great successors in one whole term, then s/he is likely not as great as you may want to believe. Joe Biden has a unique opportunity to sell the idea in much better ways than Republicans argued for two term limit. Bernie Sanders, AOC, Elisabeth Warren, and others can call for it and sponsor a bill for it to get better than Biden in 2024, which Trump or Biden dares not veto. Halifa Sallah, Mama Kandeh, Marie Sock, and many other political leaders in the Gambia have similar responsibility. The people and explanations can compel politicians to promise it and over half of them may honor the promise. Gradually, more people and countries will see, accept, and benefit from one term limit. Electric hemp car was once a concept, one term limit is a concept that will be realized, Lord be willing (LBW). We thank God for the inspiration, the vivid advantages revealing, and pray that he helps realize it now. May God bless Showlove Trinity: Let's learn, let's work, let's have fun.
By Jarga Kebba Gigo
An Activist and Transformer
With this write up, I wish to express my unwavering solidarity with The Gambia's main opposition party, UDP. The recent arrest and witch hunting occasioned against top UDP members is really unfortunate, unfair and unjust from the look of things.
In educational institutions around the world, there exists a diverse and dynamic student body, each individual possessing their unique set of abilities and challenges.