Just before the 2016 presidential election, the leader of the UDP was incarcerated. Few opposition parties had announced their presidential candidates. Many people were wondering who the UDP presidential candidate would be after many UDP stalwarts attended the inaugural ceremony of Dr Isatou Touray as Independent presidential candidate.
Eventually the UDP leadership under the guidance of its national chairman Mr Dembo Bojang and its Deputy Secretary General Madam Yam Secka pioneered the election of Mr Adama Barrow as the UDP presidential candidate. This was followed by the convening of a meeting of presidential candidates at Kairaba Beach Hotel to discuss ways and means of selecting one opposition flagbearer.
Finally a meeting of the Gambia Opposition for electoral Reform was convened. Two independent National Assembly members were invited to participate. Two members of civil society, namely, Madam Fatoumatta Jallow Tambajang and Mr Kebba Singhateh were invited to participate. This meeting ultimately culminated with the establishment of Coalition 2016.
The Coalition held a convention and all the seven political parties which finally participated in the convention were required to select ten delegates per region to be the voters in the primary. All political parties were required to educate their delegates to submit to civic education by the Committee on Voter Education and National Reconciliation so that they would vote a flagbearer without fear or favour, affection or ill will.
Eventually, Mr Adama Barrow emerged as the flagbearer. He accepted to stand as an independent presidential candidate and to preside over a Coalition Cabinet for a period of three years upon attaining victory in a presidential election. He won the election under a Coalition ticket, constituted a Coalition Government and sought national and international recognition on the basis of a coalition agenda. A national Development Plan supported by a donor conference is now to be put into action.
However, today a new Cabinet has taken shape which confirms that the President is now an executive president who is willing to exercise executive power without being restrained by any coalition consideration. Foroyaa will continue to monitor how the President exercises executive power. We will give our readers updates on the new realities of the executive presidency.