Saturday, February 27, 2016

Yaya Jammeh and Halifa Sallah selected respectively as APRC and PDOIS presidential candidates

PDOIS's Sallah, Presidential candidate
APRC presidential candidate Jammeh
Political parties in America aren't the ones busy going through the motions of primary elections to select their candidates to be nominated to represent their respective parties in the November presidential elections.

Gambia is also preparing to go to elections in December. The ruling APRC party led by dictator Yaya Jammeh who's ruled Gambia for 22 years was selected again as its flag bearer while PDOIS selected Halifa Sallah its Secretary General who's been at the top of his party's echelon since 1986 when he co-founded it.

PDOIS conducted its primaries with Halifa Sallah as the sole candidate, although party rules, according to it's own press release, allow for two or more candidates to take part in primary elections. Since there was no challenger to Halifa Sallah, it appeared that he was selected by acclamation to be his party's presidential candidate in the 2016 December elections.

The ruling APRC convened a 5-day party congress to reconfirm Yaya Jammeh as presidential candidate who will be attempting to run for the fifth time as president.  Prior to the party congress which is taking place in Jammeh's village of Kanilai, an army of party militants was dispatched to collect signatures of party supporters.

The militants led by Balla Jahumpa, a minister in Jammeh's cabinet who doubles as party Secretary General, fanned the country and in a matter of one week, managed to secure over a quarter of  a million signatures, representing over a third of all the votes cast in the 2011 presidential elections.  a presidential candidate who has already been a dictator of The Gambia for 22 years.

In the case of the signatures gathered in Upper River, Balla Jahumpa and his troops collected 60,000 signatures in one week which exceeds the 59,816 votes that Jammeh received in Upper River in the 2011 presidential elections.  Some food for thought for the opposition parties.  The rigging of the 2016 elections have already started almost a year before the first marble drops.  As we enter the election season, we will be paying close attention to the activities of the APRC stalwarts and operatives.