Only the parties aligned to NPP did not pick nomination forms. Most Gambians who voted for change in 2016 argue that the change they envisaged did not materialize. Some, even including party leaders, accused the coalition of failure for not delivering on promises.
Gambians are anticipating credible coalition that could convince voters to vote for system change. What is clear from the IEC is that even though some parties are talking about coalition they have picked up nomination forms and are preparing for election.
Hence it is evident that some parties engage in negotiations only to expect their leaders to become flagbearers. If they fail to do so they will not hesitate to turn their back on any agreement and put up their own candidates. Integrity matters in politics.
The first principle of coalition building is not to assemble participants in processes whose outcome they are not ready to subscribe to and defend in letter and spirit. Those who run with the hounds and hares at the same time will always end up in the political wilderness not knowing where to turn to.
Coalitions are tactical instruments that are made relevant circumstances. In the circumstances of The Gambia where no one intimidates any voter coalition should not be formed out of desperation since people have a right to informed choice. They should only be formed to effect the type of change that would address the needs and aspirations of the Gambian people. Coalitions for its sake can no longer be relevant to effect change. It can only delay the process of change.