Gambian opposition supporters have held a mammoth rally days to the country’s presidential election on December 1.
Among calls for a change, they are banking hopes on a failed President Yahya Jammeh presidency to get them power.
The main opposition are united behind the United Democratic Party’s Adama Barrow in seeking to unseat Jammeh. The third candidate, Mama Kandeh, is a former member of Jammeh’s party.
After 22 years we’ve been with him, and this time around it’s like the whole of the Gambia wants a change, because it’s only in the change of leadership that we can bring about a lasting peace.
Jammeh is seeking a fifth term in office, having come to power through a coup in 1994. Jammeh was democratically elected for the first time in 1996 and has since won three other re-election; 2001, 2006, 2011.
Jammeh’s regime is accused by NGOs and the US State Department of enforced disappearances and harassment of the press and human rights defenders. He has repeatedly denied the claims.
“This man is always killing in our country, so we’re tired of that. All our boys went the back way (the migrant route), some of the people die there, so we need changes, we need changes, we are tired of this man,” said Alimatou Barrow.
“After 22 years we’ve been with him, and this time around it’s like the whole of the Gambia wants a change, because it’s only in the change of leadership that we can bring about a lasting peace,” Ousman Bah.
“He’s here for 22 years now. It’s enough. It’s enough. We are in for the two term in the office agreement. Whether he works or not, even if he builds up to the sky, the Gambians are in for two terms in the office and we really mean it. This time we’ll have changes. Thank you,” said DS Njie,
Ahead of the elections, Gambia’s Independent Electoral Commission has assured parties of a free and fair poll.