By Yusef Taylor, @FlexDan_YT reporting from Niamina West
President Adama Barrow’s National People’s Party (NPP) has claimed a landslide double victory in its first two elections for a vacant National Assembly seat in Niamina West and a vacant Councillor seat in Kerr Jarga Ward. This was after the Gambia Democratic Congress (GDC) and United Democratic Party (UDP) failed to defeat the NPP in its maiden elections.
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Soon after casting his vote at Sambang Fula polling station, GDC’s Yerro Jallow told the media that “Niamina West is a GDC stronghold we’ve been winning all elections in here. We have two parties in here the GDC and the UDP. So, the UDP leaning their support to GDC really, that’s gonna be hard to [put]down.”
In the end the elections was a landslide victory for NPP’s Birom JS Sowe who won by 911 votes. In total Mr Sowe won 68% (1,716) of all valid votes cast leaving GDC’s Yerro Jallow with only 32% (805) of the votes cast.
“Victory is mine today,” said Mr Sowe soon after voting at the same polling station that his only opponent, Mr Jallow cast his vote. Mr Sowe looked a bit nervous as he clutched on to Seedy SK Njie. Responding to journalist enquiry on what made him believe victory was his today he said that “the Niamina people are rallying behind me 100%. The Niamina people are showing that they are indeed with his excellency the President Adama Barrow and his agenda that’s the NDP. They are behind the NPP Party to see that we take this country to the highest level.”
Female Candidates Take the Lead at Kerr Jarga Ward
Over at Kerr Jarga, NPP’s Awa Gaye won 49% of the votes with her nearest competitor Yama Cham of GDC only 26% of the votes at Kerr Jarga. Two of the leading candidates are female in the Kerr Jarga Ward Councillor elections. Surprisingly UDP’s Momodou Sallah could only win 9% of the votes cast leaving APRC with 16% of the votes.
Voter Turnout Shrinks
The voter turnout for the Niamina West by-election was better than Kerr Jarga’s by over 10%. The voter turnout figures used are from valid votes cast as stated in the IEC’s Announcement of results. It can be seen that the Niamina West National Assembly elections which was held on 6th April 2017 had a voter turnout of 61% which was one of the highest voter turnout in the National Assembly elections.