By Amadou M Jadama
Supporters of Mustapha Touray, who was defeated by Talib Bensouda in the recent UDP primaries, have filed a petition against the results of the primaries.
According to reliable sources, the petition was filed by Touray’s supporters in the Serekunda Constituency, including supporters from Sayerr Jobe, London Farokono and others from the Bakau constituency who claimed they are not satisfied with the whole process of the primaries and are therefore calling for a re-run of the primaries that will be credible.
According to the petitioners’ claims seen by The Standard, Mustapha Touray and Musa Jammeh—his coalition partner—and their supporters are contending that the process of the elections lacked integrity.
“Our camp has been informed even prior to the election day that Talib Bensouda is already the chosen candidate but our camp did not believe in boycotting elections, so we went ahead to contest to ascertain the fairness of the elections, which we found to be neither free nor fair.
“Selected delegates to the primaries were denied voting, only for new names to be put in the list of delegates. At Serekunda central it was found that 4 delegates came from the same family. The set rules were not even followed in the case of Bakau,” the petition stated.
The petitioners further alleged that after the declaration of the results from the first round of voting where Talib scored 68 votes and Mustapha Touray 43, the deputy party leader was seen jubilating before the second round even started.
“That alone can change the result in favor of Talib’s camp,” it added.
The petitioners further claimed that the regional chairperson Ounda Nyang was also seen politicking for Talib after the first round as he was trying to bring Magidi Touray, one of the defeated aspirants’ camp and Talib’s camp together when he was expected to be neutral during the process.
Also according to the petition, Talib’s camp flouted the rules that advised that no candidate’s supporters should be around the bureau reserved for only the delegates, claiming that there were many people wearing Talib’s T-Shirts with the Gambian flag. They further alleged that only Tablib’s supporters were allowed to campaign after the first round of voting.
“UDP as a party will and cannot forgive anyone whose intentions are to cripple this great party, just for selfish interest, greed or corruption. Based on these points we have raised as our concern and are calling for an independent inquest into the said points and therefore, a re-run for a credible primary which will be accepted by all,” the petitioners demand.