Political Parties and the Government
By Madi Jobateh
A leading accountability institution in a democracy is a political party. A political party should be cooperative with the Government but at the same time it must be combative or confrontational where necessary to ensure that the ruling government is transparent, efficient, responsive and accountable.
The questions and concerns raised by Citizen Alliance’s Dr. Ismaila Ceesay in this news article is what is expected of our parties and politicians especially the opposition. Political parties must not just join the bandwagon to donate food to our communities. But in doing so they must also check the ruling party to make sure they are doing the right thing!
Opposition parties are governments in waiting hence they must act like a government. Everything and anything that the President or the Government does or did not do is a legitimate matter of public interest for which they must speak out and engage.
In a normal functioning democracy political parties would even take the government to court or ask their supporters to come out to protest just to ensure that the ruling government is acting within the law and in the public interest. This is how to tame the Government to be honest, open and responsive.
There have been uncountable missteps, violations, lies, corruption and abuse perpetrated by the Barrow Government so far. Yet our political parties just keep silent about them or just make a one-time simple statement and that’s it.
Political parties must not concede the space to the ruling government to control and dominate the narrative. That is how bad governance and corruption becomes the order of the day hence the violation of the rights of citizens. This was the way our opposition parties had dealt with Yaya Jammeh and his APRC Government which was why he was able to stay in power for 22 years with so much abuse.
Therefore our opposition parties must not give breathing space to the Government. Where necessary the opposition must cooperate with the Government. But where the Government is not transparent and responsive to the needs of the people the opposition must not hesitate to expose the inadequacies, raise concerns and offer alternatives. That’s how a political party helps it’s country to progress.
The position taken by Citizen Alliance is indeed positive and in the right direction. I hope Dr. ceesay and his party will not just make mere statements but will go further to back them with concrete actions.
There are so many things going wrong in this country that needs urgent correction and I hope Citizen Alliance and the rest of the opposition parties will step up to occupy the space. They must not concede anything to the ruling government rather they must realise that as governments in waiting the opposition must demonstrate that they know what’s going on and they will defend democracy and good governance and the people’s interest.
For The Gambia Our Homeland