I believe this point newspaper editorial captures what most observers of Gambian politics have feared all along. With a divided opposition the APRC stand to win in any given election. The opposition camp will be vying for votes from the same slice of the electorate and even though that slice left intact might be bigger than the APRC’s support base, a two way split will surely guarrantee a victory for the ruling party. Here is the points editorial:
The opposition as a divided house
Thursday 27th April 2006
The selection of candidates for the Kombo East bye elections by both the NADD and the UDP/NRP coalition is an apparent indication that the split of the opposition coalition is as good as irreversible. While it is now more than two months since the split, but there were some people amongst the opposition who were still with the hope that their difference could be patched and the two factions can be brought back together.
However, with the decision to contest the bye election under separate tickets, then it is hard to see how such an objective can be achieved.This is yet another indication of that the opposition is not united and it is hard for anyone to contemplate how they can fare better under such a situation against the financial might of the APRC in any contest.Of course it is possible for anyone of the parties to win the bye elections, but it is certainly not going to be a good indicator of what is in store for them in the forthcoming presidential elections in October or the National Assembly elections in January.
When NADD was launched in May 2005 with a lot of fanfare, many supporters of the opposition were happy that they had finally found the formula to oust the APRC from power. However, when the split occurred about two months ago, many of those people felt quite despondent and let down that some of them decided to take a “holiday” like what Sheriff Dibba did in 1994 when the AFPRC seized power.
It is deja vu all over again. When you think these fellows (opposition leaders) are not obtused, egomaniacs, and will eventually get along for the sake of sanity, they go ahead and pull a stupid thing like what the point is reporting. Despondency has start setting into my optimistic pysche. I am begining to get what people have been saying all along…that the split is irreversible and that we should prepare for another half a decade of Yahya’s moronic behavior. Yeah go ahead and gloat because I happened to be a slow learner.