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Saturday, July 20, 2024


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By Omar Bah

The new communications secretary of the National People’s Party yesterday confirmed to The Standard that Adama Barrow will be the governing party’s presidential candidate in the 2026 election.

While addressing Banjul Muslim elders in April, President Barrow said he was preparing for his life after the presidency and was working on establishing his foundation and constructing his residence.

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His comments prompted suggestions in many quarters that he would not seek re-election in 2026. But speaking in Kunti, Niani, on Sunday, the Gambian leader confidently adduced that he will humiliate his political opponents in 2026.

“Some people are going around telling people President Barrow will soon leave but I want to tell them that they will have to wait a little longer because what I will do to them in 2026 will be worse than what I have done to them in 2021,” Barrow told a cheering crowd.

Yesterday, the question of will he, won’t he was trending among Gambian netizens with some accusing the president of blowing hot and cold from the same mouth.

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Contacted to explain the president’s seeming doublespeak, Mr Sulayman Camara stated: “The president’s first pronouncement that he will soon start working on his retirement is misconstrued. What he was referring to is that the UDP seems to be in a hurry for him to go even tomorrow. So, the president was telling them that look, President Jawara was here for 30 years and Jammeh for 22 years but they have eventually left and I will also leave and there is going to be life after the presidency.

“That was what he wanted to project but people took his comments out of context. But why would the president even make such an announcement in a meeting with Banjul Muslim elders? So, any logical person will know that is not the way a president will make such pronouncements. I can tell without any ambiguity that the president has a lot of projects that we want him to complete and I can assure you that come 2026, President Barrow will be our presidential candidate. Nothing more, nothing less,” Camara said.

Asked whether Mr Barrow has any chance of winning in recent 2026 given the dismal performance of his candidates in the legislative and local government elections, Camara argued that they are not yardsticks to measure the popularity of a sitting president.

“A clear example is the UDP which was in charge of almost all the local councils in the country before the 2021 presidential election. But did that manifest in the presidential election? Did the people elect them? No. We nearly washed them out and put them on a life-support machine,” he said.

He said the president still has unwavering support across the country. Asked whether 2026 will be Barrow’s last election, Camara tersely said: “I cannot tell you anything on that for now but I can assure he will be our candidate in 2026.”

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