OPINION: Trumpet blowing in politics

Apr 15, 2021, 1:15 PM

In recent times, there has been so much of trumpet blowing in the political arena as to who will win in the 2021 elections. It is understandable that persuasion is part of political mobilization, however, political foresight is a bigger advantage in winning an election.

In the manifestations we have seen in recent party congresses and political rallies in the country, the people are still where they were in terms of party support.

It is to be envisaged that the electoral map will change after the registration of voters. With the make-up and varieties of parties, the political environment will be tougher and a winning strategy will not be easily attained by any party. The politics of uncertainty in victory must be borne in 2021 by politicians and their supporters. In politics, overconfidence could lead to devastating consequences in the event of failure to win in the elections. The outcome of the 2016 elections should serve as a lesson for all Gambians.

No leader will elect himself into power in the democratic process. It is the people’s power exercised through the ballot box that will put a leader in power. Another dimension that is worth serious consideration in the 2021 elections is the YOUTH FACTOR. There will be more youths who would have reached the age bracket of 18 and will be eligible to vote. We must not misread the youth equation in political affiliation. The youths are in all parties and in all political activities across the country.

There is a new wave of generational consciousness that will not allow the youths to be easily swayed into supporting wrong political leadership. Whenever the politics of greed engulfs a people, they will never see the future. Instead of addressing the current stalemate on the draft new constitution and many other governance issues of national concern, the politicians are busy focusing on how to win the 2021 elections. The darkness over the consolidation of democracy should be of concern to all Gambians and to the development partners who have supported the transition process since 2016.

Perhaps, at this juncture, the IEC must be warned not to entangle itself in trumpeting in politics in the conduct of the 2021 elections. It will be recalled that the IEC announced two different results in 2016 elections which led to the political impasse and threatened the peace and security of the nation. Under sensible circumstances and in the interest of political accountability, the IEC should have been immediately dismantled and replaced with a new outfit when this government came to power.

If the electoral process is not clean, the country could experience another political turmoil in 2021. The truth when crushed to the ground will rise again. Political leaders must also be cautioned that while they are at liberty to be optimistic about their victory in the 2021 elections, they should refrain from talking about the past leaders of the country in their political trumpet blowing. It does not go down well with the electorates.

The people are interested in the politics and programs of presidential hopefuls should they come to power and not by their building of mountains they cannot climb.

By: D.M. Badjie

Political Scientist/Commentator