Janjanbureh, the administrative capital for Central River Region, is the smallest constituency in the country with under two thousand registered voters. The seat there became vacant following the death in December of ruling APRC’s Foday Jibani Manka, who had occupied the position since 2007.
“We are not contesting the Janjanbureh elections anymore,” Hamat Bah, NRP leader, told The Standard yesterday.
He explained: “The candidate that we prepared and supported with all the documents called to inform us last night that he was under extreme pressure to withdraw his candidature. The pressure is from some of his people on the ground.”
Another NRP member, who is working closely with Camara, Pateh Baldeh made similar comments. He said: “Bamba Camara has withdrawn. He said it was as a result of the pressure he is having from relatives down there.”
Meanwhile, nominations for the by-election are slated for Thursday 26, before elections on March 2.
If the situation stays like this, the ruling APRC party’s candidate, Ebrima M. Sarjo, will likely go unopposed, as the other opposition parties continue with their boycott.
Mr Kebba Yorro Manneh, who had lost to APRC in 2013 as an independent candidate, tipped to contest, but seemed to be in a limbo.
“I had expected that common sense will prevail; that I will be selected by the APRC,” he told The Standard. “The people of Janjanbureh are very divided and I was banking on the APRC to select me. Unfortunately, the demise of my brother did not even get 40 days and people started clamouring for votes. Then, my supporters said I should stand aloof. I thought I was going to be selected. I am the most capable of all the people who contested for the position with the APRC.”
On information reaching The Standard that the UDP was trying to covertly sponsor him, he responded: “The UDP has not officially offered to support me as an independent candidate.”]]>