Gambia Opposition Parties Start Coalition Talks Ahead of Polls

Opposition parties in Gambia started talks on the appointment a single candidate to stand against President Yahya Jammeh in elections scheduled for December.

Representatives of at least four parties attended a meeting at a beach resort near Banjul, the capital, to discuss the forging of an alliance, Halifah Salla, the presidential candidate for the People’s Democratic Organisation for Independence and Socialism party, said on Wednesday. The parties will meet again before formal negotiations start, he said.

“Today’s talks went on smoothly,” Sallah said. “Each party has given its position on coalition building and made recommendations.”

The tiny West African state has been ruled by Jammeh since a bloodless coup in 1994. His rule has been faulted by groups such as Amnesty International for alleged human-rights violations including unlawful arrests and unfair trials.

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