By Talibeh Hydara
Defeated independent candidate, Essa Mbye Faal, has said he will not contest next year’s National Assembly elections.
The former TRRC lead counsel is one of six candidates in Saturday’s presidential election, which Adama Barrow won with at least 53% of the votes.
Faal initially disputed the results, joining second-placed Ousainu Darboe of UDP and third-placed Mamma Kandeh of GDC in jointly rejecting the outcome, citing alleged irregularities.
The trio vowed to investigate the “concerns raised by party agents”.
However, Mr Faal later changed his mind about contesting the results, claiming there is no substantial evidence, hence conceded defeat and congratulated President-Elect Adama Barrow.
As a tradition in upcoming politicians across the continent, Faal was asked at the presser if he would take part in next year’s National Assembly elections.
“I doubt that. I doubt that for a lot of reasons. Running for president in this country is very tedious, time-consuming and also financially draining, especially for a small team like ours that is rejecting big donors. We refused to take big money from donors; we refused to take money from non-Gambians. All our campaign was funded by ourselves from our humble resources. It’s been a bit financially challenging. Above that, we have to regroup, we have to reorganise, we have to prepare ourselves. Look, we had 90 days to do what we did; to announce, get nominated and campaigned for the election. It’s been quite tough. Ninety days is just 90 days and I think we can pat ourselves on the back for what we have achieved. If we now want to participate in parliamentary elections, it would be very tough. But we would reassess our situation and see what is the best thing for us to do,” he told journalists.
Mr Faal, 55, said Team Sobeya now has enough time to fine-tune their strategies for 2026 presidential polls.
“Now we have the next five years to prepare, so we want to make sure that we do it very well,” he said.
Mr Faal, who announced his bid for presidency hot on the heels of concluding his work at the truth commission in August, finished 5th with 17,2016 votes out of 859,567 nationally.