In what was the maiden edition in the history of The Gambia, two presidential candidates faced off in a public debate ahead of the December 4 presidential poll held at the Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara Conference Centre, Bijilo on 20 November, 2021.
Out of six presidential candidates the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) gave the green light to contest in the forthcoming election, only two braced up to the call for a public debate, which is unprecedented.
Halifa Sallah of the People’s Organization for Independence and Socialism (PDOIS) party and independent candidate Essa Mbye Faal were the two candidates many Gambians on social media said ‘deemed it necessary to participate’ in the debate.
The debate which many Gambians described as “the battle of ideas and/or policies”, was organized by the Commission on Political Debates (CPD) and moderated by two prominent Gambian journalists, Saikou Jammeh the former secretary general of Gambia Press Union (GPU) and Fatounatta Ceesay of the national broadcaster, GRTS.
The two debaters deliberated on five thematic areas, namely, agriculture, the economy, education, infrastructure, and health.