By Yusef Taylor, @FlexDan_YT
The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has announced that one Candidate has died and a further three candidates have withdrawn from the 9th April 2022 Parliamentary Elections. Only last week the IEC issued a press release indicating that two Independent Candidates have withdrawn from the elections meaning that a total of five candidates have now withdrawn from the elections. To date, the total number of candidates has dropped from 251 to 246.
Interestingly enough the Commission also announced that By-Elections will be conducted for four Council Wards in May 2022. Our research has shown that Councillors from all four wards will be contesting in the Parliamentary Elections and one of them has defected to the National People’s Party (NPP).
Death of GFA Candidate and 5 Withdrawals
The Commission announced “the death of Lamin M. Njie, candidate for Gambia for All Party (GFA) of Kiang West Constituency” on 28th March 2022. After offering their “condolences to the GFA party and the family of Lamin M. Njie” the Commission also announced that “the GFA may submit a fresh nomination to field in another candidate for Kiang West Constituency before the 2nd of April 2022”.
The names of the candidates who were first announced to be withdrawn are Pa Lamin Sawo for Jeshwang Constituency and Abdoulie Barry of Kiang East Constituency who are both Independent Candidates.
The latest press release issued on 28th March 2022 highlights that three candidates have withdrawn from the Parliamentary Elections. The three candidates are; Mustapha S. Cham of the People’s Democratic Organisation for Independence and Socialism (PDOIS) for Lower Saloum Constituency, Selou Bah for Upper Saloum Constituency and Malick Jassey for Lower Saloum Constituency who are both Independent candidates.
Council By-Elections 14th May 2022
The Commission issued another press release announcing Council By-Elections for four Wards and these are; Bundung Six Junction Ward, London Corner Ward, Sanyang Ward and Marakissa Ward. The “Council By-Elections will be conducted on Saturday 14th May 2022,” read the presser.
The statement which was issued on 28th March 2022 highlights that the “nomination of candidates for the said by-elections will be conducted from 25th to 29th April 2022 between the hours of 8 am and 4 pm at the respective IEC Regional Offices in Brikama and Kanifing”.
The “nomination papers can be collected from the said Regional Offices from 4th April 2022 onwards” and “the Campaign Period for the said elections shall start from 2nd to 12th May 2022,” concluded the statement.
Councillors Running for National Assembly
There were two By-Elections for the Niamina West Parliamentary seat and the Kerr Jarga Ward Councillor seat which both took place in November 2021. In that By-Election, Mr Birom Sowe was elected as the first Candidate for President Adama Barrow’s newly formed NPP, replacing the late Hon Demba Sowe of the Gambia Democratic Congress (GDC). The Kerr Jarga Ward also elected an NPP candidate in Ms Awa Gaye who defeated two male candidates and one female candidate.
A number of candidates who are running for the National Assembly are actually elected Councillors who have resigned and in doing so have forced the Commission to hold a By-Election to fill their vacated positions. One such candidate is Mr Sulayman Jammeh for the Association for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction, (APRC) who was elected in April 2018 for Bundunka Kunda Six Ward. Mr Jammeh will now be contesting for the Bundungka Kunda Constituency in the Parliamentary Elections under the APRC ticket.
Another Councillor who has forced the Commission to organise a By-Election is Mr Musa Cham for the PDOIS who was elected as a Councillor for London Corner Ward. Mr Cham is the PDOIS Candidate for the Serekunda Constituency which is currently occupied by PDOIS Party Leader Hon Halifa Sallah.
Another former Councillor who will be contesting in the Parliamentary Elections is Mr Momodou Bojang previously of the United Democratic Party (UDP) for Sanyang Ward. Mr Bojang’s seat will be up for a By-Election because he defected from UDP and has decided to contest for the Kombo South Constituency under the NPP ticket. This means that NPP’s Bojang will be challenging UDP’s Hon Kebba K. Barrow who also doubles as the Majority Leader in Parliament.
The fourth National Assembly Candidate whose seat will be up for a By-Election is Lamin Jarju of the APRC for Marakissa Ward. Mr Jarju will now be contesting as an Independent candidate for the Brikama South Constituency.
This means that all Four Council Wards up for By-Elections are as a result of the Four Elected Councillors contesting in the 9th April 2022 National Assembly Elections.