By Kebba Jeffang
Dr. Lamin Bolonding Bojang, the leader of the National Convention Party (NCP), told Foroyaa that there should be a caretaker government to lead a coalition for just 3 months in order to avoid one opposition party entrenching itself in power.
The NCP leader said this during an interview at his residence in Brikama on Wednesday, 10th August, 2016 in response to the demand for an opposition coalition being made by the young people ahead of December 1st presidential election.
Dr. Bojang, who was the founder and leader of the defunct People’s Democratic Party (PDP) during the first republic, said he has all along been calling for coalition since at that time but which could not materialize. He said this was the reason why he quitted politics at the time to focus on his medical profession.
“For me the possibility of becoming a presidential candidate with multiple opposition parties vying for the presidency is almost zero. This is why since 1992, I quitted politics until this year when the NCP asked me to become its leader,” said Dr. Bojang.
He was also quick to clarify that the PDP which he founded does no longer exist as a registered political party with the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), stressing that there is no coalition between NCP and PDP. He said the name PDP has been dropped completely in order to avoid confusion or to create any problem for NCP with the IEC.
Asked whether the NCP has submitted any proposal for a coalition to the other opposition parties, he responded in the negative.
“We should have met all the opposition parties asking them to unite, but the likelihood of them joining us is very minimal. We didn’t attempt it at all because at the moment that idea is on the ground. NCP is part of the Inter-Party Committee and the party members have been attending meetings,” said Dr. Bojang.
The NCP leader said although he is hopeful for a coalition, he however rejects the idea of a party led coalition which some are pushing and which he describes as unfair. He said NCP does not subscribe to such a proposal and that they are not going to accept any party led coalition. He said if they want to come together they have to put their brains together.
“Yes, I’m just a new man in politics now but if you were to ask me how to go about it, we are not going to select a single opposition party to lead. The solution is that we have to come together and agree on one thing and that is each party must have an equal number of representatives in parliament, for example 5 or 7 members from each party. We have to have an equal number of people in parliament in case we win. There has to be equal representation and cannot depend on one side anymore. We have to have a caretaker government to lead the coalition and which will serve for a short term of 3 months. This will eliminate the possibility of one party entrenching itself in power. We need a neutral person with no party affiliation to head the transitional government and this can be anyone,” said the NCP leader.
Dr. Bojang said having a primary as a method of selecting a candidate is a waste of time because the person to be selected to lead the transitional government will serve for only 3 months after which the coalition members will be going back to their own parties to contest the next election.
The NCP leader said during the course of these 3 months transition the coalition government can set up the Independent Electoral Commission and remodel the Constitution in the best possible way they want it to be and then call for fresh election.
Dr. Bojang said the NCP will be contesting the presidential election under their party ticket if the opposition coalition fails to materialise.
The NCP leader expressed his disappointment with the Gambian electorate for having been consecutively giving President Yahya Jammeh the mandate to govern this country in the way and manner that that only suits him (Jammeh). He said they are therefore destroying themselves, their children and the country as a whole.
“Having your vote is just more than merely casting it but to decide well using your right senses,” he said.
The NCP leader concluded that the APRC regime had promised accountability and accused government of the first republic of corruption when they are more corrupt but which the Gambian people cannot see yet.