By Ramatoulie Jawo
The main opposition United Democratic Party (UDP) has filed 19 candidates in 19 Wards for the Kanifing Municipality (KM) ahead of the Local Government elections next month. The UDP’s 19 candidates all submitted their nomination papers to the Independent Electoral Commission’s (IEC) Regional Office in the KM on Thursday 23rd March 2023.
In the 2017 Local Government elections, the United Democratic Party (UDP) won 12 out of the 19 seats contested.
The IEC Returning Officer for KM, Joseph Colley, who is also the Commission’s Vice-chairperson went through the documents of UDP aspirants, such as their asset declaration forms, and nomination forms showing the number of registered voters nominating them, among other required documents.
The documents are pending scrutiny, after which the IEC’s returning officer in the Region, Joseph Colley, will hand over the acceptance letter to the aspirants if all their documents are intact after the verification.
The UDP’s 19 aspiring councilors for the KM are;
CandidatesWardBinta Janneh JallowBakau New TownLamin DibbaBakau Old Town Cape PointJoko Fatou NjieBundung MauritaniaAnsuman BayoLatriKunda SabijiFamara FofanaKololiBaba JabbieFajikundaTobaski SibiBarthezBabucarr JabbieTalinding SouthLamin NdowAbukoKaramo CeesayTallinding NorthLamin DarboeBundung Borehole BantabaAbdul Wahab GayeLondon Cornerlamin JammehKotu/ManjaiMomodou Haruna CamaraOld JeswangMusa BahLatriKunda YiringnyaKebba TourayKanifing SouthHabibou CeesayEbo TownMuhammad M. DrammehDippa KundaLamin K. JammehBakoteh
Shortly after submitting their credentials to the IEC returning officer, Joko Fatou Njie, UDP aspiring Candidate for Bundung Mauritania Ward, expressed her feelings to the media about submitting her credentials to the IEC.
“I feel normal as a Gambian youth. I think it is important for every qualified citizen to be part of the development of your own country,” she said.
Njie went on to say that the election will not be a heavy lift for her because the people of her ward asked her to contest the for the position and if elected, she will work with her constituents to bring the development they need as a Ward.
“The people of my community themselves decided my contest, so I am optimistic. I get the support of my people more, especially the youth and women,” she stated.
Musa Bah, the incumbent councilor for Latrikunda Yiringanya, said he is seeking re-election to complete the development he started in his ward.
Speaking to the media, Talib Ahmed Bensouda, the Mayor of Kanifing Municipal Council, said having the majority of councilors will make the work easy for them.
“I spent all my day making sure that all my councilors are nominated correctly and giving them moral support. We hope that we are going to get the majority back in the council like we have the first time,” he said.
Mayor Bensouda further called on the electorate to have a peaceful election, saying the election is not about tribe or region but is based on development. All the 19 UDP candidates expressed their hope of winning the election come April 15th, 2023.
According to the IEC schedule for tomorrow, the independent candidates are expected to file their nomination papers across the IEC offices across the country.