By Omar Bah
The People’s Democratic Organisation for Independence and Socialism (PDOIS) announced they will petition the IEC over the Jarang Ward council election results, the party’s secretary general Halifa Sallah told journalists yesterday at the PDOIS bureau in Churchill’s Town.
According to Hon Halifa Sallah, the party has received substantial evidence from their members in Jarang Ward that their candidate won the election contrary to the result that was declared by the IEC.
“There is a dispute in Jareng Ward as our members say that as far as they are concerned, they won the election….And the declaration puts the UDP to be the winner,” he said.
He continued: “So we are taking their evidence. We will continue to discuss with the IEC…We have one month to file an election petition and it is very likely that could be the case because of the weight of the information that our people are giving us. And we hope that the IEC and those who were declared the winners will begin to look at the issue because we want a free and fair election….We do not want an election where a person will be in office knowing that you really cheated to be there. So in essence we would want the IEC to look into the issue.”
He said they have already given information to the returning officer there and they will officially write to the IEC to indicate the evidence.
On PDOIS performance in the local government elections, Hon Sallah said: “It is important we rely on facts rather than fiction to make generalization and judgment.” Referring to those who said PDOIS performed badly.
He then went ahead to clarify that out of the 32 seats contested by PDOIS, 82, 000 votes were cast there, and UDP got 27,562, 33.69%, PDOIS 16,991, 20.64%, GDC 14,814, 18%, APRC 11,556, 14%, NRP 3144, 3.82% PPP 2697, 3.27%, GMC 2659 3.23%, Independent 269, 2.5%, GPDP 683, 83% and NCP 130, 15%.
He said it is because of PDOIS’ consciousness that a ruling party was not created in this country as a result of the 2016 presidential election. “We negated the concept of a ruling party. We created an independent presidency whose fundamental objective has been and still is to ensure that no single party, religious or ethnic linguistic take control of the country.”
The local government elections, he added, did reveal that the creation of a new Gambia and a new Gambian is still in the making because a country will only belong to the people if power is derived from their consent. “….and if power is exercised to promote their liberty, dignity and prosperity…Until we achieve that liberty and that prosperity for all then we cannot say that a new sovereign Gambian has actually emerged,” he concluded.