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Gambia: The Winners And The Losers Of Thursday’s Council Ward Elections

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The United Democratic Party (UDP) maintained a slight lead in Thursday’s council ward elections; followed by the Gambia Democratic Congress Party (GDC). The GDC had captured a significant number of seats in rural Gambia, and in the Kombos. The party is barely less than three years old. It has performed extremely well in the just concluded polls.

In Farafenni, the Saloum, Niaminas, Basse, Jarras, and in the Kombos, the GDC had a comfortable lead ahead of the other competing parties.

The GDC candidate won the Old Yundum seat, where president Barrow’s home address is associated with. Mr. Barrow owns a house in Old Yundm.

The GDC’s electoral success in the upcountry, has been attributed to Mama Kandeh’s solid infrastructural investment in rural Gambia. The GDC leader has dug boreholes for many communities. He has also constructed bridges in some localities. Kandeh’s investments is now payoff, with voters voting for his candidates.

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In the KMC area, the GDC, had grossly underperformed. The UDP outperformed GDC in KMC. Even the opposition PDOIS performed better than the GDC in KMC.

The GDC has a lot of work to do ahead of the Mayoral elections scheduled for May, if it wants to win KMC and Banjul. The party doesn’t seems to have a viable grassroots coordination in KMC and Banjul.

Clearly, Thursday’s polls, have confirmed that no party can win a 50 percent electoral system of voting. The opposition votes combined, the UDP, which is often referred to as the biggest party, had performed below the 50 percent margin. What does this mean? It means parties that formed alliances had better chances of winning future elections than individual parties.

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Voter turnout was poor. There was voter apathy. Few people showed up to vote. The low voter turnout can be attributed to lack of proper sensitization by the IEC to educate voters about the importance of the ward elections.

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In Banjul, the UDP outperformed the opposition parties. It remains to be seen that the UDP couldn’t win a single seat in Banjul in the past Legislative elections. The party’s Thursday’s electoral swept came as a surprise to many Banjulians. But there is a bigger secret behind the UDP victory in Banjul. We will expose what happened in Banjul in our subsequent publications.

The Gambia Moral Party (GMC) has under performed in Thursday’s elections. The party was not a winner at all. The GMC leader Mai Fatty should revisit his party’s grassroots engagement strategy to see how to make the party viable.

Dictator Yahya Jammeh’s APRC party won few seats in the Kombos and rural Gambia. The party has a long way to make a comeback. Jammeh’s ugly past is hunting the party.

The PDOIS, which is Gambia’s oldest party won couple of seats. Though, the PDOIS results doesn’t suggest that the party is ready for aprime time in future major elections.

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Hamat Bah’s NRP party also won some seats. The NRP has been out shined by the GDC in areas believed to be its onetime strongholds. For example, in the Niaminas, and Saloum.

Written By Pa Nderry M’Bai

From: The World News

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