Gambia - ruling by Allah's grace

2011-07-18 20:20

Banjul - Gambian President Yahya Jammeh said on Monday that neither the upcoming November presidential election nor a military coup, but only God, could unseat him from power.

State television GRTS broadcast a speech by the 46-year-old leader to a meeting of mostly farmers in Gambia's central river region.

"Elections will not make me to lose power nor will military coups make me lose grip of power. It is only the Almighty Allah who made it possible for me to come to power in 1994 in a bloodless coup who can make this possible."

"So if anybody thinks that the oppositions are going to win the forthcoming elections [they are] making a day dream," Jammeh told cheering supporters.

Jammeh, who will be seeking a fourth term in office in the November 24 presidential, legislative and local elections, will on Friday celebrate the 17th anniversary of his rise to power in a bloodless coup.

The outspoken military officer and former wrestler said earlier this year: "It is a foregone conclusion that I will sweep the November presidential polls that will be free, fair and transparent."

Five opposition parties plan to take part in the elections, but analysts say they have no alternative but to unite to pose a credible challenge to Jammeh's ruling party.

Rights organisations accuse him of ruling the smallest country on the African mainland with an iron fist, repressing criticism and brushing off concerns over human rights abuses.

Jammeh has woven a shroud of mysticism around himself and has come under fire from abroad for claiming he can cure Aids by using a combination of mystical powers and herbs which requires patients to stop other treatment.

In March 2009, Amnesty International documented the cases of up to 1 000 people taken from their villages in a "witchhunt" during which they were forced to drink poisonous concoctions that left six dead.

  • Tooth Fairy - 2011-07-18 20:51

    Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction (W.F. Trotter) I distrust those people who know so well what God wants us to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires. – Susan B. Anthony

      Kunta-Kinte - 2011-07-18 22:03

      Of course there is a very high probability that Jammeh is doing what all politicians have always done: make his ludicrous Sky Wizard statements to garner the support of the ignorant, the jelly-brained, and the retarded.

  • chris.khanye - 2011-07-18 21:18

    17 years ago, another mad man became President in Gambia. Mad men like him are a curse to Africa and Africa needs to rid itself of this misfortune. All the mad men think they're the best thing to ever happen to their respective countries and the continent. And all are just delusional murderers. Only popular revolutions against these misfits will usher in Africas rebirth!

      Gary - 2011-07-18 22:22

      Only problem is it seems to be impossible to unseat these looney's

  • KarinWalker - 2011-07-18 22:08

    OH GOD! Another Gadaffi!Just what this continent needs!

  • TamaraSays - 2011-07-18 22:19

    Oh lawd. Where have I heard this before? Oh, yes, EVERY African dictatorship. If there is a god (or allah or whatever - and that is in itself debateable) they don't give a rat's ass whether the despots stay in power. It's personal greed, and human rights violations that keep them there - as if we ALL didn't know that.

      Kunta-Kinte - 2011-07-18 22:48

      Intellectually naive and challenged people are unfortunately under the illusion that having elections and a so-called "free press" constitute proof of non-dictatorship credentials. In the contemporary West in post-feudal times monarchical dictatorship has been replaced by the "dictatorship of Capital". The masses are just fooled into thinking that they have democratic freedoms by being allowed to vote in the "steam-releasing" ritual of voting and ballot boxes. The dictatorship of Capital includes in its set of domesticated captives the so-called "free press". When Capital orders up war--with the usual bourgeois lies, double-talk and moral hypocrisy--the "free press" must immediately fall in line. The Dictatorship of Capital decides how news and information should be fed to the besotted masses--through its propaganda outlets of its CNNs, Euronews, BBC, Al Jazeera, Times of London, and a host of others not mentioned. The western people have no more authentic control over their government than do people in countries that you call dictatorships, particularly on issues of foreign policy.

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