Dr Touray avoids media over ‘unceremonious’ coalition pull out

Dr Touray and her campaign team yesterday endured the wrath of “disappointed” opposition supporters after she “unceremoniously” abandoned an opposition coalition convention to which she signed her participation.


Dr Isatou Touray, Gambia’s first female presidential candidate, has thrown away the opportunity to clear the air as to why she has failed to attend the opposition coalition convention which was held at Kairaba to select a single flag bearer yesterday.

Dr Touray’s press conference which was scheduled for today at 2pm was also abruptly cancelled, 30 minutes to the hour, without further information as to why and when another press briefing will be held.

“I am informing you that the Press conference has been cancelled,” Kebba Ansu Manneh, a member of Touray’s campaign team, informed The Torch over the phone.

Dr Touray and her campaign team yesterday endured the wrath of “disappointed” opposition supporters after she “unceremoniously” abandoned an opposition coalition convention to which she signed her participation.

Hundreds of opposition supporters were at Kairaba with representation from all political parties when information began sinking in that the country’s first female presidential aspirant won’t be appearing.

Later it came to light that Dr Touray was in fact on a tour holding a meeting somewhere in Jarra.

Some of her loyalists responded to online criticisms arguing that the opposition parties have technically manipulated the convention procedures by pushing Dr Touray out.

However, critics said the fact that Dr Touray ran away and refused to confront the situation, however unfavorable it might be, suggests she is unprepared to lead a third world country facing major development challenges.

The seven Gambian opposition parties held the convention and selected United Democratic Party’s Adama Barrow to lead them to polls but Dr Touray who failed to show later issued a press release saying she will “stand in solidarity with the opposition” regardless of the outcome of the coalition.

Both Halifa Sallah and Omar Jallow have told The Torch at the convention that they are unaware of any problem that might have forced anyone out of the coalition discourse.

“Well, as you can see yourself all of us, the contestants, have our pictures on the ballot box… We were all part of the agreement that brought us to this convention,” Halifa Sallah of PDOIS said without mentioning Dr Isatou Touray.

Dr Touray’s press officer Amie Bojang said she is engaged at this time for any clarification.

An unapologetic feminist and gender activist, Dr Touray has enjoyed wholesale media publicity by virtue of her education and track record in the field of women’s rights after launching her candidacy, a success she might have undone after failing to show at the convention.

The national convention that chose the leadership of the coalition invited 490 people randomly selected from all the seven regions of the country to vote for their desired leader.

Other candidates at the convention were Hamat Bah of National Reconciliation Party who got 72, Halifa Sallah of People Democratic Organisation for Independence and Socialism who got 65 while Lamin Bojang of National Convention Party got 40.

The convention agreement is that the coalition president would serve a transition period of 3 years and take the country to election to vote a new leader in which he will not contest.

Gambia has been ruled by only two presidents since independence in 1965 and its second, Yahya Jammeh, will be seeking his fifth term in office.

Gambian opposition have made several attempts in the past to form a coalition but all of them have failed and this will be the first time in Jammeh’s 22-year rule, he will face a coalition of seven opposition parties.




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