Halifa Sallah is a Gambian politician. He was the Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly of the Gambia and a member of the Pan-African Parliament. He represented the constituency Serrekunda Central until the 25 January 2007 National Assembly election, in which he lost to Sainey Jaiteh of the ruling APRC.
Sallah is the leader of the People's Democratic Organisation for Independence and Socialism (PDOIS) and one of the main figures in the opposition coalition National Alliance for Democracy and Development (NADD). He also publishes Foroyaa, an independent newspaper.
In June 2005 Sallah was, along with the other three opposition MPs, expelled from the National Assembly on the grounds of dual party membership. NADD had been registered as a political party and the Supreme Court of the Gambia judged that it went against the Gambian Constitution to belong to two parties at the same time. Critics claimed that the move was nothing but an attempt to silence the parliamentary opposition, as there was nothing in the Constitution regulating political alliances. On 29 September a by-election was held, in which Sallah was reelected with a huge margin.
On 15 November 2005, Sallah was arrested along with two other opposition leaders on the grounds of subversion, accused of having collaborated with the President of Senegal.
Sallah lost his seat in the January 2007 parliamentary election. While not mentioning Sallah by name, it was thought that President Yahya Jammeh was referring to Sallah and Hamat Bah when he expressed satisfaction at the defeat of "the two empty barrels in the National Assembly". Salleh blamed the opposition's poor performance in the election on a split in its ranks and said that he intended to retire from politics and concentrate on writing.
On March 8, 2009, he was arrested again and brought to the central prison "Mile II". The regime suspected him of spying. The charges were dropped "in the interest of peace and justice" on March 25.
- "Gambia opposition leader detained", Panapress, 19 June 2009.
- Elections in The Gambia, African Elections Database.
- "Gambian President laughs at opponents", afrol News, January 29, 2007.
- "Gambia: Leave Halifa Sallah Alone", allafrica.com, March 24, 2009.
- Foroyaa: "Charges Against Halifa Sallah Dropped"
- "Opposition leader, journalist released on bail", Panapress, 19 June 2009.
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