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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Plans to form coalition of independent candidates in KM failed

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By Alagie Manneh

An attempt to rally all independent aspirants for the KM mayor ship under one platform called the Synergy of Independent Candidates has not come to fruition yet.
The idea which was initially welcomed by most of the many independent aspirants in KM was designed to put a formidable alliance to boost the chances of whoever becomes the sole independent candidate, in next month’s mayoral election.

However, according to sources, Bakary Badjie, who was widely expected to be the standard-bearer of the movement, rejected a proposal by some members of the group to assure them positions and or rewards if he wins the election. Following which the talks broke down.
Mr Badjie later told The Standard that his colleagues wanted some form of “assurances” and he wasn’t willing to make commitments he can’t uphold.

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“This was when Jeng and Jibou decided to take the initiative to Papa, in the hope that if he wins, they too would benefit from something,” Mr Badjie claimed.
According to Badjie, those candidates were asking “what is there for us? The answer has always been the same; as far as we are concerned we cannot give you promises as to what you can do.”

However, at a press conference yesterday in Kanifing, Badjie expressed his happiness as he unveiled the two new members that decided to join his camp after reaching a “non-conditional agreement”.
The new members are Momodou Jaiteh, a former deputy mayor of the KMC and Sheikh Omar Saho, a former independent aspirant in the 2013 Local Government elections.

“The good thing about these two [Jaiteh and Saho] is that we had a chat and they said ok we will come and give you our support. They did not ask for anything. They agreed there is no reason why we should all go separately when we all have the same ideas. Nobody is here who is demanding a position or a dime.”
Sheikh Omar Saho was also eager to state that there was no “conditional agreement”.

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He said: “We only discussed at large what we want for the municipality and it turns out that our aspirations for the municipality tallied but there was no conditional agreement on you have to do this or you have to do that.”
Saho said what they did was “put KMC first” before themselves.

Dr Sidat Yaffa, an associate professor of agronomy at the University of The Gambia, said what motivated him to support Bakary was that he is an objective individual who has women and youths at heart.
“Of course there are other independent candidates but I didn’t see any manifesto from any of those candidates and two, I never had any interactions with any of those people. So those are the two major factors amongst others I am supporting Bakary Badjie,” he said.

Meanwhile, Papa Njie and three other aspirants—Pa Corker, Babucarr Jeng and Gibbou M Saidy—have yesterday synergised ahead of the race.

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