December 7, 2022

The Political Chronicle

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Presidential election in Gambia: even weaker democracy

My dad is getting old but he doesn’t want to rest. I will send him on compulsory retirement on the evening of December 4th“. In a taste.”Match of the week“Dedicated to them, the weekly magazine Young Africa This Saturday, December 4, 2021 in the presidential election in Gambia describes the chaotic maternity relationship between the outgoing president and his main rival.

Because if there are six candidates, this presidential round is mainly conducted face-to-face between 56-year-old Adama Barrow and 73-year-old Ozino Turbo.
The two who were close before always give happily. “My son“And”Dad“Their relationship has deteriorated significantly over the past two years.


To understand this rift, it is necessary to recall the context in which Adama Pharaoh was president in January 2017.

A few weeks ago, the December 1, 2016 poll turned out to be psychological.
Yaya Jammeh, who has ruled the Gambia with an iron fist for 22 years, is determined to stay in his place. To everyone’s surprise, he soon admits defeat to Adama Barrow, a few days later, with a face: no question of leaving. Almost two months after the post-election crisis, a completely spontaneous state of emergency, and then after an incredible swearing in at the Gambia embassy in Docker, Jammeh’s expulsion by the ECOWAS towards the pharaoh for the presidency of the Gambia!

But Adama Borough is bound by an engagement. The broad coalition that supported him is telling him to stay in power for only three years, the time of change. He really is considered the president. “By accident“.

A security guard in London in the 2000s to fund his training as a real estate agent, he returned to the Gambia, where he thanked his agency. Majum Real Estate. Unbeknownst to the public, he was invested as the candidate of the main opposition UDP, the true historical leader of which was imprisoned at the time.
And the leader in question is none other than … Ousainou Darboe. Yahya Jammeh, a lawyer who is committed to defending human rights, is a historical enemy who was sentenced to three years in prison by the Banjul High Court.

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President “By accident

Adama Borough with little experience came to play as an alternative candidate.
But this is the President’s stamp. “By accident“It does not apply to him. In 2019, he will announce the end of his five-year term.

To drive the point home, he does a lot of cleaning. Ousainou Darboe was ousted as his deputy leader, along with several UDP (United Democratic Party) ministers close to him.

While Barrow was already aiming for a second term, Tarpo had signaled his intention to run for president.

Never been better in the Gambia (…) Jamme did not even do bad!

Oceano Torbo about Adama Pharaoh

The competition has intensified in recent weeks as the presidential election approaches.
To the extent of hearing the comparison of the Tarbo Adama Pharaoh to the Yaya Jamme! “The Pharaoh used my name to capture the hearts of the Gambians to remove Jammeh from the throne“, He specifically announced, reports Jeune Afrique,” he added.Preemption has never been successful in the Gambia under its Magisterium. Jamme did not do too badly: the health department is on its knees, the school is bloodless. The country has suffered setbacks in all sectors“!

We have entered a period of freedom in which people express themselves without fear of danger.

Gilles Yabi, think tank he said

But this tension should not obscure another reality: Gambia is a country against a large part of the subcontinent. While West Africa is experiencing a certain setback in democratic standards, especially with the coups in Guinea and Mali, the Gambia, which was dictatorial everywhere until five years ago, today presents the exteriors of a model democracy. “We have entered a period of freedom in which people express themselves without fear of danger.“, Says Gilles Yabi, founder of the Gossip Think Tank.

However, the political scientist recognizes this as democracy.Brittle“And that ‘”Whatever the outcome, it is important to secure this path through good elections.

Challenges of the Gambia

The Gambia has been a former independent British colony since 1965, extending across the Gambia River inside Senegal, forming an open landmass to the Atlantic.

With 2.4 million people With an area of ​​less than 11,000 square kilometers, it is one of the most populous countries on the continent.

The Gambian economy is mainly based on tourism, agriculture (peanuts, millet, corn, cassava) and remittances from Gambians living abroad (approximately 22% of GDP, according to the World Bank).

Govt cut tourism last year, halting GDP growth (0% according to the World Bank). The IMF forecasts 6% growth this year.

Half of the population (48.6% in 2015 according to the World Bank) lives below the poverty line, far from the beaches frequented by tourists. Country classified Ranked 172nd out of 189 in the Human Development Index.

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Yahya Jammeh in the countryside

As a mudslinging waters, the former dictator, from the deportation of Equatorial Guinea, was apt to intervene in the debate. In mid-November, he backed Mama Conte, the candidate of the Campion Democratic Congress (GDC). Yahya Jammeh even intervened in the distance during a rally: “By the grace of Allah Almighty I promise that all that I have said, free education, free medicine (…) will be available to all Gambians and that Gambia will prosper as it exists. One of the most developed countries in the world“.

President Adama Barrow has been accused by his predecessor. “Fraudulent“, 2016 Election and Must”To destroy“The country has moderately applauded this intervention for 4 years, threatening to seize the Electoral Commission.

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The Jammeh era carries even more weight in the Campion political debate. His accountability for crimes committed under his dictatorship (1996-2017) is an issue of the election campaign.

A report was presented to President Adama Barrow in late November calling for the prosecution of those primarily responsible for these crimes. The document is the result of more than two years, one job Truth, Reconciliation and Compensation Commission Investigator of abuses from 1994 to 2017.
More than 370 testimonies have been collected against former dictator Yahya Jammeh.