“Coalition 2016 Was All About Removing Yaya Jammeh”

Mai Fatty today took time to comment on the period before Jammeh’s ouster, saying the 2016 coalition was all about dethroning dictatorship.

Jammeh had ruled Gambia with an iron-first from 1994 when he took over from a bloodless coup before losing grip of the presidential palace to Barrow.

The latter however could only contest on a merger ticket dubbed Coalition 2016 in a move later paving way for the dawn of democracy.

Gambians appeared cornered before the merger came into being in the previous reign of Jammeh whose era was marred by extra-judicial killings, right violations and stifling of the press.

UDP’s lawyer Darboe had to be apprehended, charged and convicted on treason related charges including incitement and breach of peace. The development rendered the yelllows’ chairmanship role vacant which a then little known Barrow would occupy, resigned from to contest as a coalition candidate.

And being a key partner of that coalition, Mai Fatty has opened up on events that obtained during the period.

“The issue of Coalition 2016 and Tactical Alliance are being brought to the fore by Hon. Halifa Sallah & Mrs Aji Yam Secka. Different narratives are being flaunted. First, there was no provision in any of the Coalition 2016 documentation or processes that condition the conduct of parliamentary elections as a single unit,” he said.

Photo: Barrow at his inauguration

He added: “Coalition 2016 was all about removing Yaya Jammeh and not about parliamentary elections. The idea of contesting parliamentary elections as a Coalition was discussed for the first time at a meeting presided over by then President-elect Barrow at Kairaba Hotel. The Coalition Executive debated exhaustively but remained divided. Two contentions were debated: going as a Coalition would weaken political parties, and two, going as a Coalition is consistent with the coalition spirit.”

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