Halifa Sallah’s Petulant Screeds over Coalition
I understand from social media reports that Halifa Sallah of PDOIS made some unfounded statements in his press conference yesterday, about UDP’s tactical alliance proposal of 2017. Let it be made clear; the tactical alliance broke no agreement whatsoever. It was merely a proposal that arose as a result of the lack of prior agreement relating to the National Assembly Elections, and it was made within the context of the coalition. However, it never took effect due to lack of agreement among the stakeholders. As a matter of fact, the GMC, NCP, GPDP and NRP who all supported the proposal, contested against UDP in some of the constituencies.
The proposal never stopped the upper age limit from been amended and this was part of the coalition plan. How it could have possibly stopped any other coalition planned constitutional amendment when no bill relating to the coalition agenda was ever rejected by the National Assembly is beyond comprehension. If the tactical alliance proposal with a majority support can be considered a problem, God knows what can be said of the opposing proposal that did not even had majority support among the coalition stakeholders.
Furthermore, the so-called section 65 amendment proposal is a Halifa Sallah after-thought. There is no specific mention of it in the MOU. Of course, this amendment would be necessary if efficacy is to be given to the coalition’s promise to hold elections after 3yrs, but the bottom line is that nobody including Halifa Sallah brought any such amendment proposal in the National Assembly in the form of a bill. So instead of being petulant about it, why don’t he just bring forward a bill in the National Assembly?? Surely the tactical alliance proposal did not take away any of his rights as a legislator.
The UDP was both instrumental and the heavyweight lifter In this coalition business. PDOIS did not say anything in the negotiations that they haven’t said in the previous coalition negotiations, the fundamentals of which were largely disagreed to by the UDP.
This time around in 2016, instead of striking for a compromised solution as was hitherto the strategy, the UDP basically accepted everything Halifa Sallah put on the table just to have a coalition, which was considered the safest option to defeating Jammeh. If they hadn’t done that, there would have been no coalition.
No one gets along with Halifa Sallah without completely kowtowing to his views. ‘Compromise’ is not in his vocabulary. PDOIS people need to acknowledge that and move on. There is a difference between what one desires and what one agreed with others. The former binds no one. We know the history.