By Omar Bah
Influential Serekunda politician, Mustapha Touray, who lost to Talib Bensouda in the primaries for the UDP KM ticket in 2018, has switched parties and announced his intention to contest for the governing National People’s Party.
On Wednesday, The Standard published the number of candidates for mayors and chairmen who filed applications for the NPP ticket throughout the country, including three for KM.
In an interview with Star FM to be aired today, Mustapha Touray confirmed he is one of the people who applied for the NPP ticket in KM.
“I want to state that I have submitted my application to the NPP KM chairman Ounda Nyang and I expect the party to be transparent in its selection process.”
Asked if he trusts the process especially after the NPP had contacted Sports Minister Bakary Badjie for the ticket, Mr Touray responded: “The NPP is a democratic party. We were all there and started the party from the fan club to the point of registration and so far, all the processes of selecting representatives of the party have been democratic. So, I am confident that the process will be transparent because myself and all those who are vying for the position are members.”
Touray revealed that so far, he knows that four people are reportedly in the race to contest on NPP tickets in KM.
“It is myself, Pa Modou Jobe, Yusupha Sanyang (former deputy mayor) and Minister Bakary Badjie. So, yeah, I have submitted my application and I am looking forward to a free and fair selection process because that is what is expected, especially from the ruling party and the president who is the leader of the party has always emphasised his uncompromising stance when it comes to fair-play,” Touray said.
Mr Touray added that he hopes the president will ensure due process it follows or else that could bring issues for the party.
He added that KM is a very important municipality that requires attention and should be led by somebody who sees and feels that way. “Those we entrusted the council to for the past five years have not done anything tangible but this time, we want to ensure that whosoever is elected will work towards making it better,” he said.
He said the council needs a mayor who understands the problems of KM and can provide solutions.
“This is the reason why I stand by President Barrow because he has the desire to build this country. So if the NPP selects anybody who has the same desire for KM, I will rally behind the person,” he said.
Commenting on rumours that his command of English is poor and would find it difficult to communicate, Touray said speaking English should not be a yardstick to measure competence because speaking good English will not solve the problem of the ordinary Gambian.
“Also, we have seen people who are very good English speakers appointed in positions but they mismanaged public funds. So, I want to communicate with people in a language they understand because I have no intention to fool the people of KM with sweet English and end up failing to perform to expectation,” he added.