Supporters petitioned Dr Isatou Touray a day after she told journalists at her office that she might go into the presidential election on her own if her fans support that.
A mysterious petition has appeared on Change.org website today asking the independent candidate, Dr Isatou Touray, to join the opposition coalition of seven parties.
“… Now we are faced with a challenge that we believe talking to Dr. Touray to suspend her candidacy and nomination would be the right thing to do,” a part of the petition which was shared on social media and online news sites reads.
“Therefore, we the young people of The Gambia that supported her throughout, call on Dr. Touray to suspend her nomination and join the opposition coalition for the future of Gambia. This is not the time to bring division. We call for unity. We respect you and understand how much you are willing to do for Gambia.”
Gambian opposition parties have held a convention at Kairaba on Sunday to elect a flagbearer but the independent candidate failed to show due to what she later revealed was “deliberate attempt” by her colleagues to leave her out.
The members of the opposition have not still responded to Dr Touray’s allegations and attempts made by The Torch to reach both Halifa Sallah, the spokesperson of the coalition, and Fatoumata Tambajang Jallow were unsuccessful.
The Torch learned later that the opposition were busy in a string of meetings since their coalition convention, including another one held until evening today.
However, even after Dr Touray’s attack on the “procedural inaccuracies” of the methods of the coalition convention, some of her supporters could not agree with her reaction, though they understood the issues in contention.
After the result of the coalition was known, a What’s App page created by some young people supporting her campaign, Support Dr Touray page, was renamed to Forward With Gambia.
One of the young people who created the page but preferred anonymity, told The Torch that they are supporters of Dr Touray but “we changed the group name because we… want a coalition”.
During her Tuesday press conference, Dr Touray told journalists that her support for the coalition will depend on what her supporters told her.
“We cannot afford to lose more votes due to division of the opposition… Dr Touray knows she can’t even get a quarter of the opposing votes, why spoil the last chance we have for change…,” Bakary Badgie wrote on what was her page.
The Torch has learned from reliable sources that Madi Jobarteh, a one-time solid supporter of Dr Touray who was among the first to write an endorsement for her candidature, has also written asking her to support the coalition.
In a formal letter to the independent candidate, our source said Jobarteh has requested Dr Touray to avoid even holding a press conference and endorse Adama Barrow.
Following the outcome of the opposition convention, Madi wrote on his Facebook page: “Congratulations to … Adama Barrow and the Opposition. 50% Mission Accomplished. Next 50% is robust campaign strategy under a solidified unity for Victory… Dr. Isatou Touray and Mr. Mama Kandeh MUST join the fold!”
The online petition was also signed by Sait Jaw, an activist who was also supporting Dr Touray’s campaign.
“Like many young people, I believe that the only way we can bring democratic change under the current system is through a coalition… We want Dr Touray to join since she said she will leave her options open and get back to the people,” Sait wrote.
Also among those who called on her to joined the coalition is Absa Samba, a young Gambian women’s rights activist who referred to her as a her “mentor”.