WHICH WAY FORWARD FOR THE PEOPLE IN 2016?

The New Year 2016 has inherited uncertainty from the end of the past year. The National Assembly has concluded another legislative year without repealing the Election Amendment Act which aims to make it more difficult to register a political party than to register a business by charging a 1Million dalasi fee for registration without any entitlement to state funding. Parties and Governments which stay in power for two decades are expected to open up through state media coverage of divergent views and dissenting opinions.

Furthermore, one would have expected such a government to be initiating dialogue and setting term limits to curb the tendency towards self-perpetuating rule and give certainty and integrity to life after the presidency.

On the contrary, the President is now talking about the establishment of an Islamic Republic as if the 1997 Constitution could be reduced into thin air or dust by presidential decree.

Despite the uncertainty of where the executive intends to lead the nation in 2016, what is certain is that the President has one vote like every sovereign Gambian. The power he has could be entrusted to any Gambian. It cannot be exercised to declare a one party state, a monarchy or Islamic Republic whose nature and characteristics is determined by the President himself without any constitutional safeguards.

Hence, both the President and the people have a choice to prepare for the presidency for life with all its uncertainties or life after the Presidency which depends on the type of change we opt for. In any case our destiny is in our hands.