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  • Writer's pictureEbrima Scattred Janneh

Politics: Is the proposed Coalition 2026 possible?

The Gambia, without doubt, is in an awful, increasingly frightening mess because of the administrative incompetence of President Barrow’s government.

President Barrow (L) is highly likely to contest as NPP Candidate against Lawyer Ousainou Darboe (R) of the main Opposition Party, UDP in the 2026 Polls

There is no prevarication that Barrow proved incompetent at running the country. His government is dogged by corruption allegations and ignoring warnings of the gig economy and freelance insecurity. But Barrow has his fingers in his ears, refusing to listen to Gambians.

With this, swathes of Gambians are turning their backs on President Barrow’s National People Party “NPP” government and scanning for a credible alternative to salvage the country from it's sorry state.

The Gambia is, without doubt, reeling from alarming gaps in the provision of crucial public services and yawning unfairness in the distribution of wealth and opportunities.

Need I remind you that President Barrow was ushered to lead the coalition of political parties in 2016 presidential election against dictator Yahya Jammeh.

In a rare political maneuvering, Gambians across board came together and defeated a brutal dictator who yoked all kinds of human rights abuses on the necks of Gambians.

However, President Barrow flaunted the Coalition MOU soon after taking power, and fell out with most of the coalition partners.

From there on, the hopes that the changes will usher in a better Gambia, nose-dived into an abyss of failure. The institutions of dictatorship persists and its enablers metamorphosed from green to grey colour to the detriment of the change agenda Gambians fought for.

Consequently, the Gambia is now trapped in a cycle of political, social, and financial turmoil, and President Barrow seems incapable of acknowledging the full extent of our problems, let alone adequately responding to them.

Thus, if there is any consensus in our otherwise fractured, toxic national debate, it is that we cannot go on like this with President Barrow at the helm after 2026 presidential election.

Hence, it seems President Barrow’s government is edging towards election defeat in 2026 if the status quo remains. And I have no reason to believe that things will change.

Nonetheless, not content with contemporary established political parties, ideas are meandering in the grapevine of Gambian political landscape that coalition 2026 is in the making.

Details are being discussed by some Gambian diaspora following almost eight years of chaotic years of president Barrow-led government.

The prospect of another coalition in 2026 has risen to the top of the political agenda in the country and within the Gambian diaspora for a while now.

Purely from an electoral point of view, it could be a very attractive proposition, citing the experience of 2016 coalition that ousted a dictatorship from the country. And, of course, the most recent political success of PASTEF in Senegal.

But does the country have the appetite for another coalition government after the disappointments of the 2016 coalition? Time will be the judge.

One should cast serious doubts on whether 2016 type coalition is possible again in 2026. I have taken a view that coalition 2026 is highly improbable. But such doubts were forwarded back in 2016 and were wrong.

The reality though is, single party government is the norm in the Gambia. And we live in a country of deep political loyalties, no disintegrating and lighter political loyalties, and this should be taken into account.

Therefore, if the coalition is not going to be party lead, it may be difficult to coalesce some bigger and established political parties into a binding coalition. Thus, I can see the idea quickly running into political problems before it congealed.

In the same vein, will the country’s biggest political party the ‘ UDP’ be sucked into joining coalition 2026 without a compromise of being party lead?

Would such a coalition, if possible, end the United Democratic Party’s hope of securing access to the Marana Parade ‘State House’ in 2026?

UDP are not alone in dreaming of the return of the old norm – single party model of government. National Peoples Party “NPP” is gripped by the same fantasy.

Meanwhile, the ruling government - NPP - is dealing with internal fracture about whether President Barrow will stand for re-election in 2026. And if not, who will succeed him. The in-fighting and the factional positioning is evidence as a result.

In the same vein, it is no secret that elements within and outside UDP are clamouring from the rooftop for the party leader to give way to the budding generation of UDP leaders. This is causing friction within the party, even though the magnitude of division created is downplayed by the party hierarchy.

Nevertheless, the wind of change from Senegal is blowing towards the Gambia. And changes in the status quo are inevitable. Gambians are no longer patient and want a better leader who can deliver a better Gambia.

With this, they want to have options to shop around between credible candidates. Hence, it is the contention of the proponents of coalition 2026 that something in the culture of one party model government has to change.

Like it or not, a readiness to compromise remains the greatest skill in modern politics. Thus, the political establishment and coalition 2026 needs to understand and get used to that phenomenon.

Editors note: Ebrima Scattred Janneh “EB” is the Anchor of The Dialogue With The Youths Show on Gunjuronline TV. Views expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of

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Copyright: 2017 - 2022 | GunjurOnline™
Copyright: 2017 - 2022 | GunjurOnline™
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