By Arfang M.S Camara
The leader of Team Restore Confidence, Mr. Sadibou Kamaso applauded the process of the election but questioned the things which he believed occurred before the election.
Mr. Sadibou Kamaso was speaking after his defeat to the incumbent president Lamin Kaba Bajo during the Gambia Football Federation Election Presidential election held at a local hotel in Kololi on Saturday.
Mr. Kamaso got defeated by 51 votes by Lamin Kaba Bajo as opposed to his 25 votes in 77 votes cast by the football stakeholders. There was only one invalid vote announced by the electoral committee.
“The whole process of the election was transparency but what happened before the voting process is what we are questioning,” said Mr. Kamaso
“We all know how voting is done in the Gambia. First, even the sitting arrangements weren’t proper. Regions and clubs would have their name tag written in all the sitting arrangements in the previous congresses. But all of these were pre-plan by the president and the people who are supporting him in the electoral committee.”
In any congress, he said usually there are tags pasted on the seats of every region and clubs’ delegates, and the sitting arrangements are usually done by the electoral committee and not candidates or delegates.
“But in this year’s election, some of the delegates were taken to a hotel during the eve of the election and they were told what to do in leaked audio. They were told to sit together during the election so that they keep tag to what they are doing.”
“We saw them (Team Kaba) trying to fight for block-group voting just to intimidate some of the stakeholders. I know that some of them voted because they were quashed, while some voted because it is what they want and we respected them. The whole process before the election is what we doubt.”
According to him, he filed a petition against the selected date for the elections, adding that he believed that the date of the election was chosen to favour their opponents, Team Kaba.
“I am a bonafide delegate of the Young Africans football club but I was stopped from going inside because they wanted to see how we would react badly and show the people that we were violent but were not. I was asked to stay outside and the constitutional amendment went on.”
We pretested against the (two) members of the electoral committee. The chairman and another guy who has to resign based on our protest. Next thing we know, you have the electoral committee chairman writing letters for an extraordinary congress that is not within their scope. The chairman of the electoral committee’s mandate comes when the elections start.”
Mr. Kamaso said it is a secret ballot, people can say this and go and do it the other way, adding that the voting process was transparent.
“The stakeholders have spoken and we have listened. But we would go as a team and sit back, to come up with either a petition or an appeal because I’ve sent an appeal to the electoral commission’s appeal committee about me being banned from going in as a delegate and they’ve not replied to me.”