A Political History of the Gambia, 1816-1994 (Rochester Studies in African History and the Diaspora)
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A Political History of the Gambia: 1816-1994 is the first complete account of the political history of the former British West African dependency to be written. It makes use of much hitherto unconsulted or unavailable British and Gambian official and private documentary sources, as well as interviews with many Gambian politicians and former British colonial officials. The first part of the book charts the origins and characteristics of modern politics in colonial Bathurst (Banjul) and its expansion into the Gambian interior (Protectorate) in the two decades after World War II. By independence in 1965, older urban-based parties in the capital had been defeated by a new, rural-based political organisation, the People's Progressive Party (PPP). The second part of the book analyzes the means by which the PPP, under President Sir Dawda Jawara, succeeded in defeating both existing and new rival political parties and an attempted coup in 1981. The book closes with an explanation of the demise of the PPP at the hands of an army coup in 1994. The book not only establishes those distinctive aspects of Gambian political history, but also relates these to the wider regional and African context, during the colonial and independence periods.
discussed below. Weakening of the Chiefs The Protectorate chiefs generally supported the UP (albeit covertly) in the 1962 election. They were spared the embarrassing dilemma of declaring for one party or the other after the election because the PPP achieved an overall majority.126 Nevertheless, some members of the PPP, particularly the new minister of local government, Sheriff Dibba, were determined that the chiefs would never again side with its opponents. Consequently, between July 1962 and
The two remaining PPA MPs, Sisay and Samba, struggled on somewhat half heartedly. For example, the PPA did not contest any of the seven by-elections that occurred between 1968 and 1971, even in Baldeh’s old seat of Lower Fulladu West.84 1970 Republic Referendum85 The first real opportunity for both the UP and the PPA to challenge the ruling party nationally since the 1966 election was in April 1970, when Jawara and the PPP felt sufficiently emboldened to hold a second republic referendum. After
in 1912, but was taken over by members of the British Communist Party by 1924. Small may have first come into contact with the LRDept during his visit to London in 1920–21 (he certainly established links with the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) at this time) and in 1929 he revived these links by affiliating the BTU to the LRDept.113 This proved a fortuitous development, for during the 1929 strike, both the LRDept and the LAI mobilized support in Britain for the BTU and 98 Patrician Politics
the party supported an Independent, S. J. Oldfield, who had been a candidate in the 1954 Legislative Council election, in Kombo East. A. B. N’Jie’s decision to accept the DCA nomination is particularly interesting. A Muslim Wolof in his mid-fifties who had reached the senior position of registrar of the Supreme Court before his retirement from the civil service in 1958, N’Jie had represented the Joloff/Portuguese Town ward on the BTC as an Independent since 1949. He was not listed as a DCA office
were nominated for the same (or similar) constituencies. In addition, A. N. Touray, who had won Niani-Saloum in 1960 before being unseated on an electoral petition, was selected in Niani, and N. M. Darbo, who had been defeated in MacCarthy Island, this time stood in Upper Fulladu West. Five other UP candidates of diverse ethnic background had contested the 1960 election as Independents. These were the former GMC rebel, S. B. Gaye (Joloff/Portuguese Town), who was now a leading member of the UP;