Pic: Reuters/ Thierry Gouegnon –

Dear Editor,

Kindly spare me some space on your widely read platform to present this proposal: “Democracy in the Gambia, the way forward” for the consideration of the people of the Gambia as a discourse on our democracy.

Looking back in my school days, as an active participant in student politics, we used to appease ourselves with the raw definitions of democracy, “as government of the people, for the people and by the people”.

Going by such a definition, one would be correct to adjudge that a democratic government is the result of popular verdict and hence its leaders are the voices of the masses.

Unfortunately, the practical lessons of democracy around the world, particularly in Africa and for that matter the Gambia, seem to betray the ethos of this definition. 

Our democracy and democratic principles are weak and poorly; characterised with blatantly manipulation, corruption, and inefficient institutional authorities, which shows no signs of reform.

For the Gambia and Gambians to make the best use of these poor and weak democratic institutions to the general equitable satisfaction to our masses, I wish to propose the introduction of Private Members Bill entitled “the Bill of Presidency Rotation 2024”. 

In this Private Members Bill, the purpose and objective should be to make a new Law that would make the Presidency of the Gambia rotational between the seven Administrative Regions of the country. 

It should also stipulate a Two Term Presidency limited and that, the Vice President cannot come from the same Region with the President at any one time. 

Furthermore, the Executive Departments or Ministries must all be evenly or equitably distributed and rotated between the seven Regions. 

In addition, no President or Minister should be allowed by law to send their children for elementary education at the expense of taxpayers. 

If our Presidents and Ministers know that their children have to be schooled home, perhaps they would improve the institutional capacity and education standards in our schools.

It is my hope and confidence that such a radical socio-political transformation would fairly benefit our country and people better than our current system of one-sided democracy anchored on manipulation, exploitation and mismanagement of our people and national resources, with impunity. 

We have to start challenging those entrusted with our national resources in the spirit of not only freedom of expression but the rule of law, equal rights, justice and of course accountability and transparency. 

No one should be above the law or the constitution of the country. This system should encourage the fair distribution of both power and resources in the country, promote regional competition for development and provide our youths employment across the country instead of everyone crowding the urban areas in the name of employment.

Alh Yahya Ceesay

Greenwich, London

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