The next electoral cycle is not far away and political parties
should be concerned with developments in Senegal. The
disbanding of PASTEF and the imprisonment of its leader has
raised and is still raising the political temperature in Senegal.
These are reminders that political tolerance is a key to national
stability. The first incarceration of Ousmane Sonko led to mass
uprising which led to the loss of lives and destruction of property.
Eventually, President Macky Sall made two fundamental
decisions which could have allowed him to leave office without
being accused of undermining the multi party system in Senegal.
First and foremost, he declared that he would not seek a third
term. Secondly the troops that kept Sonko under house detention
were removed, thus allowing him to move freely. This gave the
impression that he would serve as an umpire during the electoral
process in Senegal and ensure that all those who are participants
are treated fairly.
Such a state of affairs would have earned him the respect of the
Senegalese people, the continent and the world at large. It is
definite that he will not be a contestant in the forthcoming election
in Senegal. It is questionable what is there to gain by the ban
imposed on PASTEF and the incarceration of Sonko.
The Gambia should learn from such lesson. The only system that
is worth defending is the one that allows a government to govern
without obstructions in accordance with its constitutional mandate;
and the opposition to hold it to account whenever it strays from
protecting the general welfare.
If all parties are committed to serve country, social cohesion will
never be threatened.
Now the country is in a great dilemma and there is no need for