Mr Sarjo secured 70 per cent of votes cast in the Janjanbureh by-election on Thursday March 12 to regain that provincial seat for his ruling party.
“This Janjanbureh victory is a major statement from the APRC ahead of the 2016 elections. In fact, in 2016, we will have more than what we have in this National Assembly elections,” an exultant Colley, who is also the mayor for Kanifing municipality, told The Standard at his residence over the weekend.
He said the huge margin between his party’s candidate and the opposition’s explains the popularity of APRC in the country.
For him, the popularity of the APRC is attributable to the party’s pro-people development agenda.
He said: “Go to the provincial Gambia today, there is electricity everywhere. The government has touched the life of everybody and that means more support for the APRC. We just happen to be in a democracy, but there are certain areas in this country that do not even give the opposition people chairs to seat when they visit.
“Just as I would often tell the media, the opposition don’t care about the Gambian people and they have come to realise that. They only go to the people when there are elections. That is when you will hear them making a noise in the rural areas, but for us, we are always with them. We eat, work and socialise with them as well as serve them.
“How can they claim to have better alternative programmes when they don’t care about the people they want to rule? Is it not an obligation also for the opposition to go to the people they say they want to rule in the future, even before they have the mandate? Of course, they should!”
With six of the seven functional political parties continuing their election boycott, which began in 2012, only the third largest party, NRP, has since been contesting elections.
The opposition say electoral reforms or no participation, but for Colley, the boycotting parties stayed out in order to save face.
“You know why the opposition boycotted?” he queried, and answered: “They are trying to escape humiliation that APRC will bring on them if they contest. How can they claim that they are pushed out of the elections? Who pushed them out? Even if they come up with a coalition, we will beat them more seriously than we did to them as individual parties. The playing field that they are talking about is very level because the people are the playing field and let them go to them. The ARPC is not stopping them from going to the people to sell their ideas. If they are saying the IEC [Independent Electoral Commission] should make some changes that is not our business as a party. Let them talk to the IEC. The IEC has nothing to do with us and I am talking as a member of the APRC party. The IEC is just as the name indicates; it is an Independent Electoral Commission.”]]>