Michael Scales

(JollofNews) – Now this is getting even more confusing. Forgive me if I am wrong, but my understanding was that Adama Barrow is a president in name only, seeing as he was the chosen one to front the combined Gambian opposition.  He then entered upon their behalf, as the agreeable figurehead of the coalition to run the opposition’s cause and stand against the incumbent for the position of president. The other contender was Mr Kandeh, leader of the Gambia Democratic Congress (GDC).

Therefore, all political parties were represented including the incumbent. Mr Barrow being the only candidate who was not a leader of a political party. It was therefore not at all surprising that most of the coalition leaders took key jobs in the newly formed government except Halifa Sallah of the People’s Democratic Organisation for Independence and Socialism (PDOIS). He decided instead to enter parliament as a successfully elected member. This further confirmed that this was a coalition government as it is occupied by different political parties.

The wheels appeared to come off quite quickly as some notable members of the coalition took to bitter public disagreement over the implied articles of the Memorandum of Understanding of the said coalition. It was noted that highly respected journalist Mr Demba  Jawo took the offered position of minister for Information. While Mr Jawo was not leader of any political party, he was the elder statesman of the Gambian media. This being considered as the 4th arm of government.

There then followed a further debate between the coalition shadowed by the online media and respected commentators as to the agreed length of President Barrow’s term in office, from what was portrayed to the electorate/ as a transitional period of 3 years and then he would step down. This would then trigger a new election for president after 90 days. During that period, the Vice President would guide the process. But at present no Vice President either nominated or otherwise has taken office.

The intuitive commentaries online would suggest some concern that President Barrow remains aloof and low profile. Others stream wishes and wants, instructions and advice to President Barrow. They are quite reasonable. Clearly, the Gambia and Gambians have found their true democratic voice after an abysmal 22 year hiatus where dissent and public criticism and public gathering was forbidden. My own thoughts on this is a benign alternative to the tyranny of Mr Jammeh, may work in Gambians favour. But what really matters is what will be the outcome of the next three to five years. We hope it is a memorable and happy one. Alternative views are most welcome.