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Last Updated: Tuesday, 18 January, 2005, 11:08 GMT
Gambia opposition unite to fight
Gambia's President Yahya Jammeh
President Jammeh won the last elections with 53% of the vote
Gambia's five main opposition parties have formed a coalition to run in next year's presidential elections.

Coalition spokesman Ousainou Darboe said the opposition realised it must unite to have a chance to win.

The opposition have yet to announce their candidate, but Mr Darboe said many people have become disenchanted with President Yahya Jammeh.

He came to power in a coup in 1994 and won a second term in office in October 2001 with 53% of votes cast.

'System change'

Mr Darboe - the leader of the United Democratic Party - was Mr Jammeh's main rival in the last elections, taking 33% of the vote.

Gambia's United Democratic Party leader Ousainou Darboe
Gambians are disenchanted, Gambians need a change
Ousainou Darboe
United Democratic Party leader
The opposition coalition failed in 2001 because not all parties were on board, however the National Alliance for Democracy and Development was united, he said.

"This time around we have all realised that it is in the best interests of the Gambia to have all the opposition parties coalesce and fight the next general elections in 2006," Mr Darboe told the BBC's Network Africa programme.

The coalition's objective was not simply to remove the president from office, but to have concrete policies - as their manifesto due out in a month's time would reveal, he said.

"We are not interested in regime change, we are interested in a complete system change."

Gambia poll landslide
18 Jan 02 |  Africa
Country profile: The Gambia
09 Nov 04 |  Country profiles


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