7 former APRC NAMs join UDP


By Lamin Cham All incumbent National Assembly Members from the seven constituencies in the North Bank Region who were all elected on the APRC ticket have shifted allegiance to the United Democratic Party UDP, a leading member of the Coalition 2016. Most of the seven, if not all, led by Suku Singhateh of Lower Badibou are currently on tour with the UDP leader Ousainou Darboe, our source who is following the tour reported yesterday. According to reports the UDP, which has contested each constituency in the NBR, is poised to win the majority seats there given that APRC did not bother to contest a single seat n the region, probably because of the former ruling party’s mass defections among its ranks in the region. However the opposition GDC is very much present in every single constituency in the Region and are expected very strong in the Nuimis where the party did very well in the December presidential election. In addition, there are few independent candidates hoping to feast from the split among the Coalition parties and the absence of the APRC. Last night, a member of the UDP campaign team alleged that some of the Independent candidates are APRC in disguise. “They are APRC. They are just using the independent ticket to hide their true colours,” he alleged. However an APRC official told The Standard that such claims are nonsense. ”Why would the APRC hide behind Independent candidates when we are proud of our name and achievement in the political history of the Gambia?” he quizzed. Meanwhile The Standard also asked a senior member of the UDP campaign team on allegation that the party’s insistence on competing the election on party lines caused the split in the Coalition. The man, who preferred anonymity, replied:”You see Mr Cham Gambian people don’t understand politics. There is no difference between the Coalition partners at all. All what is at play is the various political parties putting and testing their ideas and principles to the electorate to be translated into tangible evidence of acceptance, example, the number of seats. The parties who form the coalition will always work together in the assembly to help Barrow implement his reforms.” The UDP man said people must also learn to get used to noise and commotion in the media and public platforms. “Hot debates and the exchange of divergent views are ingredients of democracy which now regained. We must realize that for more than 22 years only one man occupied public space in this country. So our very disagreement and expression of divergent views is a measure of our progress as a democratic nation,” he concluded.]]>