By Lamin Cham
With just three weeks to nominations for the National Assembly election, the leader of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP), Kebba Jallow, whose party is part of President Barrow’s NPP grand coalition, has said Barrow must as a matter of urgency call a meeting of party leaders in the alliance to forge out modalities on how they are going to contest the elections.
Speaking on Kerr Fatou’s The Brunch on Saturday, Mr Jallow said the continuous absence of a joint approach by the coalition means that parties are working on their own and that is “a recipe for disaster”.
“So far, I can say that we in the PPP are on our own because we cannot afford to wait and get late,” he said. Mr Jallow disputed reported suggestion that NPP is not going to contest only the two Banjul seats in favour of PPP.
“Such a situation would not be allowed. What we expect from Mr Barrow is to work with us to increase the number of our seats but not to reduce it. We are not only working to maintain our two seats but we are planning to contest four other seats and these are potentially winnable seats for us as you know the PPP is well established in the provinces,” Mr Jallow said.
He said it is not only the NPP that delivered the presidency for Barrow but the synergy of the efforts of all the coalition partners.
Also speaking on the same programme, Dodou Jah, the deputy spokesman of the APRC which is a key backer of President Barrow, said the unofficial information they got from the grapevines is that the NPP wants its partners to keep their existing seats while they intend to contest all the remaining seats. ”This would mean that the NPP is going solo. For example, in our case, they only want us to keep our Foni seats,” he said. Mr Jah said politicians need to realise that the National Assembly election is far different from presidential one.
“The dynamics change in parliamentary elections because often supporters reject their party candidates for those they deem fit to represent them. So, the choice of party leaders and party supporters could be different,” he argued.
He concurred with Mr Jallow that NPP should call an urgent meeting to address the vexed issue.