By Kebba Jeffang
Mr. Hendry Gomez, the party leader of the Gambia People’s Democratic Party (GPDP), in a telephone interview with Foroyaa yesterday, Thursday, August 18, 2016 revealed that they are only ready for an alliance whose leader is selected through a primary.
The GPDP leader presented his party’s position in response to the demand made by some young people in the country who expressed their conviction that it is only through a coalition by the Gambian opposition parties that the ruling APRC regime can be removed from office through election after 22 years.
Mr. Gomez said it is on record that his party supports the idea of a coalition giving that in both 2006 and 2011 they joined a United Democratic Party (UDP) led coalition with Ousainou Darboe as its presidential candidate and the independent alliance led by Hamat Bah as flag bearer respectively. He said they do not believe that election will remove President Yahya Jammeh from office because the Gambia has no second round vote which he said made the process so hard.
“However, we haven’t given up as a party. GPDP is still part and parcel of the group of six (opposition parties) and we will join our partners to form an alliance. What we also said is that our party will not be part of every Tom, Dick and Harry, no! We will join an alliance that suits the Gambian people and the Gambia. This is someone who is loyal, faithful and experience and we will not entertain what some in the media are reporting or some people are saying. If they want that let them form their own political parties. Let me emphasize that we are ready to select somebody who suits the Gambian people and Gambia itself,” said the GPDP leader.
Mr. Gomez said his party’s proposal regarding the selection of an alliance candidate is for all the opposition parties to come together to go for a primary in which each of the parties will be asked to send 20 or 40 delegates for them to vote to select the coalition flag bearer.
“People are saying this cannot be, but it can, because it is not impossible. Every party will respect the outcome of the vote and give full support to ensure we realize the dream of removing Jammeh from office,” said the GPDP leader.
He said this coalition flag bearer to be selected from the primary will serve for only five years after which each of the coalition partners will go back to their different parties, adding that this person will serve under no party ticket but as an independent and will serve all the coalition partners.
“At this particular time, we have to forget our parties, tribes, religions, because we cannot allow ourselves to give president Jammeh another 5 years. Enough is enough and 22 years is enough for president Jammeh. He has already done all he can and he cannot give us anything good again,” he said.
Mr. Gomez emphasized that there is still time to conduct this primary to select the alliance candidate and this is feasible or workable.
The GPDP leader said they are ready for a coalition and they will support it.
Mr. Gomez said his advice is that the decision to make the Gambia a better place now remains in the hands of the Gambian people, especially the young people, and that they should not misuse their votes this time round.
He also urged the Gambian women to show Jammeh that enough is enough as he fails to empower them.
The GPDP leader confirmed receiving the PDOIS proposal on opposition coalition and added that he supports it.