Presidential nominations so far: Pomp, fanfare and head-scratching

Presidential nominations so far: Pomp, fanfare and head-scratching

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When the Independent Electoral Commission scheduled 30th October 2021 to start the nominations for presidential candidates, we all expected pomp and fanfare, given what’s at stake and the uncountable number of aspirants. So far, it has not disappointed as independent candidates and parties invade the Election House to show strength and numbers.

And indeed, numbers were on display. New entrant and only female candidate Marie Sock left tongues wagging in her immaculate dress, followed by Joseph Joof. Ebrima Tabora Manneh set the ball rolling in gathering crowd. It looked like the whole Nuimi is behind him. If so, that would be trouble for GDC and NPP, who go neck-and-neck for the right to get the Nuimi votes.

And then, enter UDP on Monday. The country was painted yellow. It was so yellow that we couldn’t see red, even after GMC took their turn because the yellow brigades almost spent the night in Bakau. Mai Fatty himself had to carry a yellow flag for a moment. That crowd shook the entire country as the party continues to show that they still have enough to beat two sitting presidents in five years. 

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We have seen everything already. Maybe not quite yet because one of the big boys, NPP, are ready to gallop on their white horses on Bertil Harding Highway to eclipse the yellow invasion. We cannot wait for NPP. Thursday is the date!

A flurry of candidates already visited the IEC, with some not fulfilling all the requirements so far. We have seen and heard all. We have seen beautiful and expensive traditional attires; from Mrs Ceesay to Marie Sock and at the same time, we have seen shorts and scholl shoes as the dreadlocked candidate Banky scootered to the nominations.

We have all heard things we would need time to process. We’ve heard from Momodou Bah 1, who said he chose orange as his color because that represents Vitamin C. He said Gambia is hungry and it needs Vitamin C. IEC informed him that someone else beat him to that color, even though the person probably had a completely different wisdom behind the color. So it is now Orange and Black. You know, orange is the new black. Banky attached his nomination files to his chest like a kid’s only candy. Darboe, on the other hand, had his foot soldiers carry his library to Election House. Well, Mamadi KS Camara had a backpack, the first to go back to student life. Not surprised, he is a retired teacher. We’ve also heard from Momodou Bah 2 who, like Donad Trump, said he would build a fence between The Gambia and Senegal. We didn’t know Trump’s influence reached so far. The Farato man is convinced that it would scare off drug traffickers.  

We have seen withdrawals as well. Mathew Gomez withdrew. BB Dabo withdrew. Dr Biran Jange withdrew. And there will be more.

Today, we will see how GANU strolls the Brufut streets as tension grows after Babili removed Sheikh Tijan Hydara’s tongue from the honeycomb and replaced it with GDC’s Mamma Kandeh. By the way, as expected, GDC pulled an amazing crowd yesterday. Will the party form the next government or will it fall further behind? We will find out soon enough.

And then, of course, Essa Mbye Faal will grace the Election House. For sure, no one will dispute his qualifications. He didn’t need to hold a congress like NPP and we all know he definitely attained higher education.

All in all, it has been eventful nominations and long may it continue as we head to the polls in a little under 30 days.