By Yusef Taylor, @FlexDan_YT
The 2023 Banjul Mayoral Elections was very different from the 2018 Mayoral Elections which featured some nine different candidates compared to only two this year. The only two candidates that canvassed for the votes of Banjulians were incumbent Rohey Malick Lowe of the United Democratic Party (UDP) and Ebou Faye of the National People’s Party (NPP).
Mr Faye is currently the Managing Director of the National Stadium and Friendship Hostel who ran as independent in 2018 while Rohey Lowe is the Gambia’s first female elected Mayor and also the REFELA President which is an organisation for West African Mayoress’.
After the results were announced, incumbent Mayor Lowe told West Coast Radio that she was “humble and grateful to the people of Banjul”. “Now it’s time for development,” said the daughter of a past Mayor of Banjul who won over 50% of the votes cast on the day. With a 72% voter turnout, the jubilant Mayor believes that “the people of Banjul have spoken loud and clear”.
Asked about her opponents and if she was willing to work with them Mayor Lowe says she doesn’t have a problem with her opponents. She believes that she ran her “campaign with dignity. It was very clean I have no issue absolutely with my opponent. Everything was based on programs and policy”.
Reacting to the news of Rohey Lowe’s victory, Ebou Faye issued a statement on Facebook congratulating the only female winner in the Mayoral Elections. Mr Faye declared that he was “writing to offer my congratulations on your victory in the mayoral election. The people of Banjul have spoken, placing their trust in you to lead our city into the future”.
Looking forward Mr Faye highlighted that “the challenges ahead are significant, and the responsibilities of leading our city requires leadership, strength, resilience, and an unwavering commitment to the well-being of our citizens. This will require you to unite Banjulians for the transformation we are all yearning for our beloved city”.
Record breaker Mayor Lowe highlighted another achievement for women’s politics in The Gambia and West Africa. The jubilant Banjul Mayor believes she is “the first woman to be elected in West Africa for a second term. Especially running the affairs of the city”. She dedicated the victory to the people of Banjul who she says “made history again. They made it before [by voting her into office in 2018] but once again they made history”.
Looking at the statistics it can be seen that Mayor Lowe gained an additional 5,463 votes in 2023 while her only opponent Ebou Faye also gained 5,121 votes. Although the elections were only between two candidates, it’s clear to see that the momentum is still in favour of Mayor Lowe. In 2018 Ebou Faye actually came third after Independent Candidate Abdoulie Bah who won over 2,292 votes in the last election.