The President of Gambia, Yahya Jammeh, has officially made clear his ambition to run for the upcoming presidential election of Gambia.
On Thursday he submitted his candidacy to possibly extend his rule into the fifth term in the upcoming Gambia presidential election, set to hold in December.
The 51-year-old president took the reins of Gambia in 1994, following a coup. He has retained the leadership of Gambia for 20 years, and in the process survived attempts to overthrow him from power.
Yahya Jammeh claimed that his candidacy is between him and God and he will be undeterred by what others, perhaps the opposition, have to say about him.
“No matter what people say about me, I am not moved… I don’t listen to anybody because I know what is important.
“It is between me and God Almighty.”
“You want to listen to everybody and satisfy everybody, you will end up satisfying the evil people.
“Do what is right. Make sure you satisfy the Almighty Allah.”
Despite Yahya Jammeh’s impressive record in improving the literary record in Gambia, as well as ending child marriage and female genital mutilation, and decreasing child mortality rates, however, his human rights/ civil liberties record is quite deplorable. His control of the media, repression of opposition parties, and politicization of Gambian security forces have led to criticism of his government.
The opposition has formed a coalition to nominate Adama Barrow as Jammeh’s opponent in December.
The third and last candidate is a former MP of the ruling party, Mammah Kandeh. Kandeh’s candidacy was met by distrust among Gambians, especially the opposition coalition supporters. Many accused Kandeh of being sponsored by President Jammeh to divert votes for the coalition of the opposition, thereby sealing president Jammeh’s win.
However, the fact is Kandeh is a former member of the ruling Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC) who was expelled in 2013 for unclear reasons.
Gambians head to the polls on December 1.