As we begin this countdown we look at the inception of Coalition 2016 from its inception, the political campaigns of the flag bearer Adama Barrow under the coalition umbrella, the victory of Coalition 2016 in defeating Yahya Jammeh.
Strains and cracks and the breaking point of Coalition 2016 followed by calls for adherence to the Coalition 2016 agreement which calls for a transitional government of three years and now President Barrow’s pronouncement that such agreement does not hold water. First things first; Coalition 2016 was initiated by the Honourable Halifa Sallah of the PDOIS for opposition parties to come together and discuss electoral reforms.
During these meetings the now Vice President Honourable Ousainou Darboe was elected Chairman with Halifa Sallah as Secretary. Meetings were held at the Kairaba Beach Hotel with the PGOIS footing the Bill and later other parties started to contribute. When Ousainou Darboe was arrested and detained the meetings continued with the formation of Coalition 2016. Members agreed that if they should win the elections the subsequent government will be a 3 year transitional government to be followed by fresh elections with each party standing on its own.
During the meetings committees were set up, among them; the human rights and governance issues committee, the committee on political issues to advise the would be President on appointments before and after assumption of office and other related matters. On 30 October, 2016 the Coalition held a convention and voted for a flagbearer. There was a total of 490 votes with Adama Barrow UDP claiming 308, Hamat Bah NRP 72, Halifa Sallah PDOIS 65, Lamin Bolong Bojang NCP 40. With these results Adama Barrow became the natural head of Coalition 2016.
During the campaign for the flag bearer which was led by led by Omar Amadou Jallow and Dr.Isatou Touray, the agreement of a three year administration was sold countrywide and this, it seemed was accepted by their supporters and led to the defeat of the incumbent Yahya Jammeh.
President Barrow’s victory led to the release of the UDP leader and other party members from detention. President Barrow’s newly formed government included the leaders of the NRP Hamat Bah, Omar Amadou Jallow of the PPP, Mai Ahmad Fatty of the GMC, Henry Gomez of the GPDP and indepependent candidate Dr.Isatou Touray.
The first member and minister in the coalition government to be sacked was Mai Ahmad Fatty from his post as interior minister in what President Barrow said was done on the basis of national interest. The sackings reached a crescendo when Vice President Fatoumata Tambajang, Omar Amadou Jallow, Henry Gomez and Demba Ali Jawo were all relieved of their posts. The writing on the wall became clear as Ousainou Darboe was appointed Vice President.
We now have a UDP0led government and not a coalition 2016 government and the word out there from state House is “I will continue my mandate of Five Years” So what now with the three year Agrement?