Gambia’s first ever female presidential candidate, Isatou Touray, has told the incumbent Yahya Jammeh that after over two decades of being president, it was time to leave, this comes even as Jammeh braces up to enter his fifth term in upcoming polls in December.
Isatou who is in her sixties is known to be an active defender of the rights of women and children in the west African country. During a press conference on Friday to announce her candidacy, she denounced the “ostentatious and flamboyant style,” of Jammeh as leader.
“It is time for him to leave,” she added.
According to her, Gambia deserved a president who respected the rule of law. She added that under Jammeh there was too much power in the hands of a few people and those people were also not accountable.
She further stated that under the ruling Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction, (APRC) Gambians were living under illusions despite the party’s many promises.
A return to Commonwealth
She also promised to return the country to the Commonwealth. The country left the United Kingdom’s league of nations in 2013. The government said the Gambia was not going to be part of any neo-colonial institution, hence the decision to leave.
Subsequently, Jammeh declared the country an Islamic republic in December 2015 as part of efforsts to distance Gambia from its colonial past. Isatou who is seeking to unseat Jammeh however says she did not recognize the country as an ‘Islamic republic.’
Jammeh came to power through a bloodless coup in 1994, he was elected in 1996 and reelected continuously in 2001, 2006 and 2011. His regime has been accused by NGOs and foreign governments of forced disappearances and harassment of the press and human rights activist, the government regularly rejects such accusations.