Friday, October 15, 2010

“Agenda 2011, a By Product of Our Reality” - Halifa Sallah

Posted by Modou S. Joof on March 12, 2010 at 10:14pm
Banjul, The Gambia (TNBES) Agenda 2011 is not about Halifa Sallah, NADD or PDOIS it is a by product of our reality and we hope that it will not just be a reality for The Gambia but it will be a reality for every society which is in transition, the Director of People Center for Social Science Research Civic Awareness and Community Initiative has said.

Halifa Sallah was speaking to The Voice Newspaper in an interview at the People Centre in Churchill’s Town on 3rd March 2010. “We have realised that in 2006 over six hundred and seventy thousand (670, 000) voters were in the country and over four hundred thousand (400, 000) voters did not vote for President Jammeh, over five hundred thousand (500, 000) voters did not vote for the opposition. So here you have a crisis of government we have the president who is not voted for by the vast majority of the people in the country and we also have two opposition parties speaking for the people who are not voted for by over five hundred thousand people,” Halifa Sallah observed.

Sallah noted that his realisation is that we have a crisis of multy party system whatsoever crisis, we also have a crisis of political anarchy and crisis of credibility, however he said his concern is that of

According to him, election is about people selecting from among themselves a person they can entrust their wealth and tax money to be use for their interest. People will be affiliated whether you like it or not
somebody is going vote for somebody who will take charge of your nation,
somebody who is going to make laws for you.

He pointed out that somebody may administer or mal-administer and when they mal-administer it affects you, so if they abuse authority it affects you and in that respect people should be genuinely be
concerned about elections, because this is the opportunity you have as
sovereign citizens to determine who should manage your affairs.

“So in this respect I see it necessary for each of us to do whatever we can to address this crisis of credibility. You cannot bring political parties together and say be thinking this way or do that, it is sovereign,
we have tried it in NADD but before we even reach the stage of primary NADD had
collapsed,” he noted.

He stressed that this innovation (Agenda 2011) is to create a grand alliance of the people irrespective of party affiliation, so that the people themselves would be able to vote in a primary for one candidate who
would challenge the incumbent in the 2011 election, that individual would also
make commitments that he/she will only be there for a period of two to five

During the period of the transition, Sallah explained that the person will undertake to run a consensual government, meaning that, that person will have to consult those who are concern (the stakeholders) in
appointing ministers to their positions. If the person is to appoint a Minister
of Youth, he/she will have to consult the youth organisations to select six
people and say if you select anyone of these we are satisfied.

For the Minister of Labour, he said that the unions will have to select one from six people and the President will have to be are satisfied with their choice and the process continues in the appointment of a
Minister of Women Affairs, Minister of Justice etc.

“If you go to trade, Chamber of Commerce and other establishments, businesses will have to select among six people, the Minister of Information be selected by The Gambia Press Union, so any way we will build
The Gambia from a new start that will operate based on concession and we will
have the mandate to involve the people in making a Constitution that would reflect
the rights of the people for self determination that would guarantee their
civil, economic, and cultural values,” he highlighted.

He also stressed that person heading the transition (President) will also work towards building institutions that will ensure the Independence of the Judiciary and the National Assembly so that they would be
able serve as an oversight for the creation of trade unions civil societies,
etc so that they will also participate in governance, in implementation and
determining policies.

Halifa Sallah said that it is a believe that we can build this type of situations within the period of five years, for political parties to express their programme over the people, and after five years the person
(President) will not contest in the next election or support any other
contestant but will ensure a genuine
free and fair election. “My conviction is that The Gambia would be able to have
a new start that it has never before since the day we were declared
Independence, this would be the day of creating a democratic society where
sovereignty will reside in the people,” he told The Voice Newspaper.

He remarked thus; “that’s what the Agenda 2011 is all about, and what is been done now is to send a person that can communicate this to the people and that can be any volunteer, we will have almost if not more than
twenty thousand people who would agree to this agenda, before the end 2010, and
people who would agree to vote at the primaries for a candidate who may even be
a member of a former political party.”

“The ideal person will agree to preside over this transitional party, Agenda 2011 can be explained to the people by any volunteer, because it is initiated by a person that is legally responsible for
Agenda 2011. What is essential is that when the person understands and has full
ownership of it then that person matters no more,” the Sociologist is quoted as
telling The Voice Newspaper. VOL:2

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