By Omar Bah
The campaign manager of the opposition United Democratic Party has said Ousainu Darboe remains the party’s most sellable and unifying candidate.
With little over three years to the next presidential election, the UDP’s choice of candidate remains undecided, despite rumours that KM mayor Talib Bensouda could express desire.
But speaking to The Standard yesterday, Momodou Sabally said: “Without a shadow of a doubt, Lawyer Darboe is the most sellable candidate for the UDP. He personifies the core values of the party, and he has earned the love and trust of our base. The few critics speaking against his candidacy and suggesting alternatives like myself are in the minority and mostly non-UDP members who may not necessarily wish the party well.”
Reacting to suggestions that Mr Darboe is a divisive character and that could render him unelectable, Sabally argued: “Well, there are two categories of people thinking this way: there is one group, a few self-righteous individuals who do not like the UDP or Lawyer Darboe, and they feel that their opinion is more important than the desire and belief of the majority of UDP members, even though these party members have the ultimate say as to who should lead our party in the next election. These few individuals, totally opposed to a Darboe presidency, are also hellbent on sowing the seeds of discord within our party through subtle means, but they will surely fail, Insha’Allah. Then there is the second category: those who wish the party well but do not understand the dynamics of local politics. This second category, I believe, has good intentions, but their arguments are based on a lack of proper knowledge and understanding of Gambian politics.”
He said the vast majority of UDP members would choose Darboe over any other aspirant for the position of flag bearer anytime and anywhere through free and fair democratic processes as enshrined in “our party’s constitution”.
“Luckily, these are the legitimate deciders of who will represent our party as a presidential candidate,” he added.
Addressing a rally organised by UDP’s Road to 2026 Group on Saturday, Sabally said the former vice president will lead the party in the 2026 presidential election.
He said many Gambians who refused to vote for the UDP in 2021 have regretted it and will vote for the party in 2026.
“There are people who celebrated UDP’s defeat in 2021 but are now crying, yearning for a UDP government due to the country’s deteriorating economy, which is hitting hard on its citizens, especially the poor,” he said.
He said it is only the Gambian electorate who can save themselves from “this suffering by voting massively against the NPP in 2026”.
“If you fail to vote against this system in 2026, you have yourselves to blame. So, 2026 is your chance to do what is right or continue with the bad system,” he said.