By: Ousman Saidykhan
The National People’s Party’s (NPP) primary for the Brikama Area Council (BAC) chairmanship on Wednesday, 8th March fell into arrays of controversies causing a stalemate between the ad hoc electoral body and some sections of the delegates.
A dispute amongst members of the party in the hall at the Regional Education Directorate in Brikama rendered no room for a winner to be declared at the end of what was supposed to be a “peaceful” primary.
The disagreement started when chewing gum was found in the ballot box of Ahmed Gitteh during counting.
Because the chewing gum was not counted, it has been announced both Gitteh and Seedy Ceesay have scored thirty (30) votes.
If the chewing gum is counted, Gitteh would have been declared the winner, with just one vote more than Ceesay, a TV host on QTV.
It could not be traced who put the gum in the box, but Gitteh’s supporters say the gum should have been counted to make it thirty-one (31) votes for their candidate.
After some minutes of consultation, the body responsible for the primary said the chewing gum was an invalid vote.
They decided that the delegates go home and return to the same hall in Brikama on Tuesday, the new week, for voting between Ahmed Gitteh and Seedy Ceesay.
Ahmed Gitteh’s supporters are not happy with the authorities’ decision. They accused the regional executive of foul play in the process, and they said they would not return for any election between their candidate and Ceesay as they believe Gitteh has been cheated on.
Six candidates threw their hats in the primary. Basiru Darboe and Kora Jassey both got zero (0) votes while Lamin F Bojang and Lamin Basse Bojang got seventeen (17) and three (3) votes respectively. Both Seedy Ceesay and Ahmed Gitteh got 30 votes as announced by the electoral body.
All the candidates announced in front of the delegates that they would follow anyone who emerges as the winner. However, no winner could be announced yet.
Although, another election between Ceesay and Gitteh, some sections of the delegates who already celebrated Gitteh’s win, remain unhappy about the process.
Anyone who emerges as the winner from the second round will face United Democratic Party’s Yankuba Darboe. It is expected to be a tough battle. The incumbent Chairman, Sheriffo Sonko won the seat under the UDP ticket. Although, he later left the UDP for NPP.