Foroyaa has opened this column for political debate on divergent views, a political debate that is enriching, enlightening and free from insults, that is geared towards nurturing a new Gambian in order to build a new Gambia.



In response to the press statement of the Secretary General of PDOIS Foroyaa picked the following from facebook which aims to introduce divergent views.





Hon. Sallah spoke in the simplest of English languages referencing a very recent history. 


However, anywhere there are comparisons drawn between two individuals or entities, the focus is on their commonalities. That much I know. Here is how you’d know that Hon. Sallah was reaching, trying to squeeze milk out of a stone. He was very misleading cos the PDOIS started and remains a political party.  So let’s contrast, shall we?


The ANC was founded on 8th January 1912 as a liberation movement, dead opposed to Apartheid, which initially resorted to violence and guerilla tactics. PDOIS isn’t a pre-independence party and cannot therefore claim to be either a liberation movement or political party. What liberation did it bring about?


ANC was only legalised as a political party in February 1990. PDOIS was established as a political party on 31st July, 1986, with full legal status. 


ANC has won every election in South Africa since 1994. PDOIS has never commanded more than 10 per cent of the total vote in any election since 1987. 


ANC has had 3 leadership changes, at the helm, since Mandela left the presidency in 1999. PDOIS has mainly Halifa Sallah; and Sidia, MAYBE.


ANC has, since 1994, controlled the majority in the South African Parliament even if slim. PDOIS has never had more than 5 parliamentarians at any one time in the Gambia’s Parliament/National Assembly. And the 4 they have this year is circumstantial and mainly cos the UDP chooses to tactly seat out and not contest against them in 3 of those seats. 


ANC fought against Apartheid and racial discrimination from 1912 to 1990. PDOIS fought against a democratic dispensation from 1986 to 1994; unless they want to claim some clandestine moves to dislodge democratic governments that we’re not aware of.


ANC claims to be a centre of the left political party. PDOIS is a leftist party.


ANC is the ruling party in South Africa and PDOIS is not one in The Gambia.


So you go on, on behalf of Hon. Sallah and the PDOIS, to tell us how would anyone remotely familiar with these two entities draw any likening.



The press statement issued by the Secretary General of PDOIS indicated very clearly that the People’s Democratic Organisation for Independence and Socialism was established to eradicate poverty, tyranny and degradation. He alluded to the fact that some people claim that since PDOIS has been in existence for a long period without taking over the executive or legislative arm of the state, it should call it a day. The PDOIS leadership indicated that unless its course to eradicate poverty, tyranny and degradation triumphs and a land of prosperity, liberty and dignity dawns, its members will continue to struggle until they achieve their aim or leave it to others to carry out the battle.

ANC was mentioned as an example of how long a struggle can take before it triumphs. ANC took 78 years before coming to office in South Africa. PDOIS had only eight years of existence before the coup d’état of 1994 when all the political parties were banned. Maybe the critic does not want to recognise the fact that the PDOIS leadership is the only force that combated Decree Number 4 which banned all political activities in The Gambia. He must have forgotten that the PDOIS leadership wrote the most defiant publication that eventually landed them in court. Despite cautioning from the court not to interfere with the transition, the PDOIS formed the democratic front which wrote a petition demanding a national conference of stakeholders to determine the transition leading to arrest. It is after this that the national consultative committee was established to determine the transition.

When parties were allowed to register except PPP, NCP and GPP, which they referred to as parties that took part in the previous government, a new coalition emerged, the UDP coalition. The UDP coalition started to disintegrate in the 2001 presidential election which the NCP left and the 2002 national assembly elections which the UDP boycotted.

PDOIS was again approached to bring the parties together which gave rise to the NADD coalition. Instead of focusing on building PDOIS, the leadership concentrated on building NADD. The NADD headquarters was paid for and maintained by PDOIS. PDOIS pioneered the coalition building process which gave rise to the election of Kemeseng Jammeh in Jarra West after the UDP boycott. NADD as a coalition won four out of six by-elections and was ahead in the popular vote. It collapsed when others deserted.

PDOIS continued in 2011 to pioneer the building of a united front. PDOIS put resources not to promote itself. In 2016 PDOIS again pioneered coalition building and put all its resources and faced all dangers during the impasse to ensure that the first change of power through the ballot box occurred. Before this, no one believed that change can come through the ballot box. Now everyone believes so. This is mental liberation. Hence the country entered a period of coalition building. Has this been achieved without PDOIS?

In our view the statement is misunderstood and we hope this clarification will meet the satisfaction of the critique. PDOIS was out and is still out to break the chains of ignorance and mental slavery. This is the core of its liberation agenda. The ANC has not eradicated poverty and degradation in South Africa. PDOIS is not an imitator of the ANC. It is simply comparing the time frame between its birth and its coming to power. The struggle continues unabated.


Read part 2