(JollofNews) – An opposition leader in the Gambia has poured cold water on hopes of a party led united opposition front against President Yahya Jammeh in the December election.
Dr Lamin Bolong Bojang of the National Convention Party (NCP), said would not take part in any opposition alliance that is led by another opposition party.
He said the idea which is currently being floated by his colleagues in the opposition is unfair and unacceptable.
The Gambia will hold presidential election in December 2016, with legislative and local polls to follow in April 2017 and April 2018.
The small West African nation of less than two million people has been ruled by President Yahya Jammeh since 1994, when the then 29-year-old seized power in a bloodless coup.
Mr Jammeh who is eyeing a fifth term was re-elected in 2011 with 72 per cent of the vote.
Despite many Gambians favouring a united opposition in the election, opposition leaders have not been able to form a united front against Mr Jammeh since the return of the country to ‘civilian rule’ in 1997.
And with the election only four months away, Dr Bojang who was last June named leader of the NCP, said opposition leaders should put their brains together if they are serious about forming a successful alliance.
“We should have met all the opposition parties asking them to unite, but the likelihood of them joining us is very minimal. We didn’t attempt it at all because at the moment that idea is on the ground. NCP is part of the Inter-Party Committee and the party members have been attending meetings,” Dr Bojang told the opposition Foroyaa newspaper.
He added: “Yes, I’m just a new man in politics now but if you were to ask me how to go about it, we are not going to select a single opposition party to lead.
“The solution is that we have to come together and agree on one thing and that is each party must have an equal number of representatives in parliament, for example five or seven members from each party. We have to have an equal number of people in parliament in case we win.
“There has to be equal representation and cannot depend on one side anymore.
We have to have a caretaker government to lead the coalition and which will serve for a short-term of three months. This will eliminate the possibility of one party entrenching itself in power. We need a neutral person with no party affiliation to head the transitional government and this can be anyone.
“During the course of these three months transition, the coalition government can set up the Independent Electoral Commission and remodel the constitution in the best possible way they want it to be and then call for fresh elections.
Dr Bojang, 62, said having a primary as a method of selecting a candidate is a waste of time because the person to be selected to lead the transitional government will serve for only three months after which the coalition members will be going back to their own parties to contest the next election.
The NCP leader warned that his party will contest the presidential election on its own ticket if the opposition coalition fails to materialise.