Monday, June 5

Tug of war: Darboe Attacks, Barrow Responds –

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By MSS& Nyima Sillah

President Adama Barrow has responded to the demand made by Ousainou Darboe leader and Secretary General of the United Democratic Party (UDP) calling on the Gambian leader to resign following the sharing of seats in the just concluded local government elections.

The UDP won two Mayoral and two chairmanship seats while the NPP won four chairmanship seats.

Addressing his supporters in what is described by the UDP party as victory for winning in Banjul, KMC, West Coast Region, and Mansakonko,Lawyer Darboe called on President Adama Barrow to resign after his party’s heavy loss in the recent local government election.

 “This is a vote of no confidence in Adama Barrow. In popular votes, people have shown that they don’t want Adama Barrow’s government. If he is someone who understands issues and understands the meaning of these votes he should resign by tomorrow (Monday, 22nd May). And I am calling on you to resign. Tell Adama Barrow to resign because we have lost our confidence in his Government,” the UDP leader said during his Party’s victory celebration in Kotu on Sunday.

The opposition United Democratic Party won in Banjul, Kanifing Municipality, West Coast Region, and Lower River Region while the president’s party won Basse, Kerewan, CRR North, and CRR South in the election.

The UDP leader also described President Adama Barrow as the “President Campaign Manager.” 

“I heard the president reduced himself to a campaign manager for all his candidates. He goes around late at night. I even understand he did house-to-house (Campaign). Mr. Campaign Manager, you have failed woefully. You try to sell the agenda of your Minister. I feel sorry for Bakary (Badjie) because Adama tells him he cannot sell his Agenda. He said Seedy Ceesay cannot sell himself. You have to go and sell him but Mr. President campaign manager, Gambians have shown you where power lies and not in your hands. Power belongs to people, not you and that’s what they have shown. If you had the power you would have put all your candidates in charge of the councils but you don’t have the power,” Darboe said.

In his response, President Barrow said: “I have a mandate until 2026 to 19th January 2027. The mandate was given to me by the Gambians. I will continue to serve that mandate until it is finished. You have been an opposition for thirty years. You lost five elections; I think you should be the one to resign. Gambians gave me 53%. That’s a landslide victory but is his opinion and I don’t think that is the reality,” President Barrow said.

The Gambian leader also pointed out that the local government election is not an election to decide who to be president and not say the opposition didn’t win.

“Everyone has his or her opinion, that’s democracy. We started with the presidential election, it was decided by Gambians, and I won a clear victory. I won the parliamentary election because I have more National Assembly Members. I have more Councilors. In the Mayor and Chairmen election, they have four and I have four. They didn’t win. This is not an election that can decide who should be president and who should not be president.

“We have seen examples in many countries, they give you the presidency and vote against you in parliamentary. In Cape Verde, the opposition has the majority in the National Assembly, the opposition is the prime minister. In Turkey, all their big cities have opposition to their mayors. Even in Dakar, they have an opposition as a mayor,” the Gambian President told his former vice President.

He noted that this is a clear indication that the country’s democracy is working and dictatorship is no more in the Gambia.

He stressed that: “This shows our democracy is working, it shows there is no dictatorship in the Gambia again and people and decide otherwise. I don’t think his (Darboe) opinion is accurate, but it is his opinion.” 

BakaryBadjie did not make any public pronouncement on his position as a Minister before the election and after the election, however, the Gambian announced that Badjie was defeated by Talib Ahmed Bensouda in the Kanifing Municipal Council and will continue as Minister at the Ministry of Youth and Sports.

“We will continue to work. Bakary will continue to be Minister. He had a lot of achievements as a Minister. Sports have never reached this level. The Gambia qualified to the highest level, we should thank Bakary for that. If the election is only work and development, the opposition wouldn’t get anything. Who will argue about the work we did in Banjul? Elections have a lot of factors, not only about the work done. If it works alone, the work we did, no president worked more than NPP in the Gambia. Even this highway is a good example, of the Banjul project. Banjul today no Capital in ECOWAS is paved a hundred percent like Banjul,” President Adama Barrow said.