By Omar Bah
The Independent Electoral Commission has said that as far as it is concerned, APRC is led by the Fabakary Tombong Jatta executive until another congress says otherwise.
Last week, former president Yahya Jammeh announced he has replaced the FTJ-led executive for joining NPP without his permission.
Jammeh said the APRC should instead work with Gambia Alliance for National Unity (Ganu) led by Sheikh Tijan Hydara who twice served as a justice minister in his government.
However, Pa Modou Mbowe, a member of the new executive hand-picked by Jammeh, has insisted that the former president has the powers to sack Fabakary Tombong Jatta and his executive members as they too were handpicked by Jammeh.
“Yes, obviously, because the likes of Fabakary and Rambo, Jammeh was the one who handpicked them,” Mr Mbowe told The Fatu Network in an exclusive interview.
But when contacted for comments, the IEC director of communications, Pa Khan argued: “It is a legal requirement for all political parties to conduct bi-annual congresses from which they will select their executive. So, for somebody somewhere to just dissolve an executive elected through a congress has no legal basis and doesn’t hold water.
“We have the list of the APRC executives and the party leader is Fabakary Tombong Jatta. This is what stands as of now and until they go to congress in two years time, the FTJ executive is the legitimate one as dictated by section 105 of the Elections Act as amended in 2015.”
Meanwhile, former KM mayor and party mibiliser, Yankuba Colley urged Fabakary Tombong Jatta to warn Sheikh Tijan Hydara against using the APRC’s party symbols.
“I want to urge you [FTJ] to warn him that if he uses our party symbol, we will prosecute him,” he said.
Colley also said all APRC members who caused the confusion between the FTJ executive and Jammeh should be dismissed with immediate effect.
Colley said the splinter group, recognised by Jammeh, are political nonentities unknown by Gambians and they will not be able to attract support.
“But I want to assure all Gambians and supporters of the APRC that the party will not die,” he said.
Meanwhile, the FTJ executive will hold a press conference tomorrow to state its position on the APRC/NPP alliance and the recent pronouncement by Jammeh.