The ruling APRC Party of Dictator Yaya Jammeh is divided after suffering a humiliating defeat in Lower Saloum National Assembly By-elections. Inside sources indicate that the party stalwarts and its leadership, while engaged in post-election analysis after the announcement of the results, were in a serious blame game and counter accusations of who and what contributed towards the defeat. The Governor of the region Mr Omar Khan was quoted to have said that he has never experienced such a loss in his life. Mr. Khan said the defeat of the APRC candidate, Mr Kabba Touray was due to sabotage by some supposed APRC loyalists, and that he knows those who are behind his party losing the once APRC stronghold to the National Reconciliation Party of Mr. Hamat Bah.
The desk officer for the region, Honorable Mr Sainey Mbye who promised victory was visibly terrified with the outcome. The APRC is said to have spent almost half a million dalasis during the nomination and campaign periods.
Mr Omar Khan who served as Governor of Upper River Region until his sacking in August 2013 was recycled back into the system and reappointed Governor of Central River Region in May 2014. He replaced Mr Ganyie Touray, who was removed from office and subsequently detained by he police. Both men were on the ground to canvass for votes for the unpopular APRC flag bearer Mr Kabba Touray.
Mr. Touray represented the people of Lower Saloum in the legislature between 2007 and 2012 and like many other uneducated APRC legislators, Mr Kabba’s presence in the national assembly was just physical in nature. He lacks intellectual substance and he never contributes during debates. His constituents complained that for the five years that he was in office, he did not lobby for any development programs for their constituency. He was replaced in 2012 after one term in office by Mr Pa Malick Ceesay, who himself was expelled from the party afte serving only three years of his five year term. He is currently on trial for abuse of office and economic crimes.
Mr. Yankuba Colley, the national mobilizer of APRC party, who was only seen on the ground on election day said in an interview with the national television that they have taken the defeat in good faith and would henceforth start working to correct the mistakes made and avoid a reoccurrence of such as well as prepare for the 2016 general elections. Mr. Colley however calls the results “a disappointment from the people of Lower Saloum”.
The election had a 56.8% registered voter turnout, and it was won by NRP’s Mr Modou Bamba Gaye who pulled 2764 votes while Kabba Touray of the APRC got 1618 votes.
The APRC Chairman Mr Yaya Jammeh who approved the nomination of Mr Kabba Touray as his party’s flag bearer is said to have issued a pre-election warning to his people to ensure that APRC retake the seat. In addition to approving a large sum of money to attain this goal, Dictator Jammeh has also dispatched three of his Ministers; Mr Bala Garba Jahumpa, Mr Omar Sey and Mr Benjamin Roberts to go and join the campaign. The current speaker of he National assembly Mr Abdoulie Bojang was on hand and so was the expelled former holder of the contested seat Mr. Pa Malick Ceesay.
This according to our analysis is a clear indication of how desperately Mr Jammeh and his APRC party wanted to keep this seat under their control.