(Jollofnews) – An opposition party in the Gambia has threatened to boycott next year’s presidential elections unless there is a comprehensive reform to the country’s electoral system.
The Gambia’s electoral system is skewed in favour of President Yahya Jammeh’s ruling APRC party, which has won all the elections held in the West African country since 2006 and is continuing to strengthen its grip on power.
The Gambia Moral Congress party (GMC) said as opposition parties are defeated even before the polls due to the unfair playing field, it is not looking at next year’s polls, but focused on the processes leading to the polls.
The party therefore called on other opposition parties in the country not to just organise country-wide political tours and fanfares, but to use them to unite the country against elections without comprehensive reforms and to get Gambians to demand electoral reforms.
“We are working on 2016, but in a different way, not through euphoric fanfare, and that is because we belong to the realistic school of politics,” said GMC’s leader, Mai Ahmad Fatty. “No amount of euphoria will change the status quo without comprehensive electoral reforms.”
The GMC said opposition parties in the Gambia are engineering their own defeat in next year’s election unless they rally their fanfare and euphoria around electoral reforms.
It added: “Unless we do away with stone-voting, and other entrenched irregularities, elections are futile. The rush should not be on conducting elections; the rush should be on uniting the country against elections without comprehensive reforms. National political tours should be about getting the nation demand electoral reforms or the regime confront definite consequences.”
The GMC said while it is supporting the idea of a unified opposition [G6] taking on President Jammeh, it has appeared to them that most of the founding parties of G6 have abandoned that principle in favour of the carnival procession of 2016 elections fever.
It called on Gambians to reject the opposition in the polls if opposition leaders fail to stick to the principle that prevented them from contesting elections since 2011.
The GMC added: “Our words must march our deeds. Those political parties and career politicians who have grown immune to ritual election defeats can proceed with the carnival. We are grounded on “no elections without comprehensive reforms”. GMC stays true to principle on electoral reforms without fanfare, while remaining vigilant to the practicalities of change.