COULD MULTI-PARTY CONTEST BE NORMAL WITH THE EXECUTIVE OF A MAJOR POLITICAL PARTY IN DETENTION?

We do not know what Ex-President Obasanjo had told President Jammeh, or what the ECOWAS fact finding mission would report. It is however evident that a multi- party system cannot function in a normal way when the executive of a major political party is held in detention. This fact should be of concern to the Executive in The Gambia, the political parties in the country and the international community at large, including the regional community and the continent as a whole.

Five months leading to an election requires the settlement of all political disputes and the opening up of the political terrain for multi- party activities. The Gambian state in particular, the political parties and the international community in general, should take concerted action to ensure that before the end of this month all political disputes are settled through dialogue, and all politically related legal actions or their outcomes abrogated. Only a weak state will wish to put its opponents behind bars in order to feel secure. Any state which has to imprison its opponents to feel secure is not fit to govern a democratic republic. We hope the message could be acknowledged by stakeholders in good faith in the public interest.