Opposition Coalition building agreement postpone by UDP to consult with their executive
Gambians are once again treated to another delay in building the much requested and needed coalition building agreement after UDP emerged as the only party requesting a postponement to consult with their executive, majority of which are in prison serving a three year term for merely holding a procession without permit. This proposal for a postponement was table by Alhagie Darboe, one of the contenders for UDP leadership, leaving the rest of the opposition supporters furious as to what else could be up the UDP sleeves.
Previous agreements, notably the NADD in 2006, received similar issues from the same party, with their last minute request to forgo the agreement, in favour of a party led coalition (BY their party of course), yet the blame was levied against those who stayed with the agreement, for not blindly following UDP's request, due to a history majority, at least of 5 years old.
Many commentators argue that the UDP was poised to endorse Dr. Isatou Touray, the independent candidate, whilst many doubt the sincerity of the UDP leadership, especially those UDP supporters in the diaspora who many argue, seem to be heavy weights and ultimate deciders for the whole party just because they are providing the resources on the ground. It is in fact this group, many of who were advocating for a boycott until the UDP executive issued a statement rubbishing the boycott claims, who many blame for the breakdown of previous talks.
What clearly differentiates this negotiation from previous ones, is that the ownership of this negotiation belongs to the Gambian people and they have demanded all parties to go to the negotiation tables, without fail. This means that this time around there will be no mass boycott except boycotting the party which refuses to negotiate. Many were not expecting the UDP to pull this last minute postponement due to what is at stake this time around, including the health of their executives languishing in prison.
This paper is confident that the UDP will do the right thing this time around, otherwise it may never recover again from the backlash of the electorates who are poised to vote the dictatorship out, this December, with or without the UDP.