By Omar Bah
The Independent Electoral Commission has rejected former president Yahya Jammeh’s request to recognise the Yaya Tamba-led faction as the true APRC and instead announced that the Fabakary Tombong Jatta-led executive is the legitimate one.
The former president had personally written to the Independent Electoral Commission advising them to recognise the Tamba-led APRC faction after his expulsion of FTJ and others, who supported an alliance with President Barrow’s NPP.
Last October, the faction loyal to Jammeh wrote to the IEC asking it to recognise and address issues dealing with the APRC as a party with two rival factions ahead of this month’s congress.
When asked about the letter at the time, the IEC chairman said he cannot remember receiving such a letter from the Jammeh APRC faction but promised to make a follow-up.
However, in a letter responding to the FTJ-led executive’s request to hold a congress under the ticket of the APRC seen by The Standard, the electoral commission chairman Alieu Momarr Njai said: “I write to acknowledge receipt of your letter of 26th September, 2022, pertaining to the above subject matter and to inform you that your existence as the legally registered and recognised APRC is what obtains within the records of the IEC. You shall therefore be acting in accordance with the law when you hold your national congress on the stipulated dates mentioned in your letter.” The IEC letter did not mention any other group or faction related to APRC.
Last year, the former Gambian leader announced he has dissolved the FTJ-led executive and replaced it with a new executive.
He followed that up with a letter addressed to the IEC, which was first published by The Standard recently. In the letter, Jammeh wrote: “I write to inform you that based on the powers vested in me by the constitution of the APRC party, of which I am party leader, Supreme Party leader, Chairman and Flag Bearer (by resolutions of the 2015-, 2018- and 2021-party congresses in Kanilai, Bwiam and Serekunda, I hereby write to officially introduce to you, the members of the new National Executive Committee (NEC), sometimes referred to as executive committee (EC) of my party, the APRC. I have been the founder, leader and national chairman since APRC’s inception in 1996.”
Jammeh further wrote that the APRC’s general membership, in consultation with him, decided, following meetings on the 8th and 14th of October 2021, to relieve all former executive members of the party from their positions. The Yaya Tamba faction has accused the IEC of not treating the APRC issue with fairness.