By Lamin Cham
The United Democratic Party emerged the dominant power in last week’s National Assembly election with 31 seats won from across all regions in the country, leaving only 22 seats for its coalition partners and the opposition GDC and APRC as well as independent candidates.
The Gambia Democratic Congress GDC, which sponsored 52 candidates disappointingly came a joint distant second with former ruling party APRC, NRP all securing 5 seats. While the GDC seats came from different regions, the APRC managed to win only in its stronghold in the five Foni constituencies in the West Coast Region.
There were disappointments too among the other members of the coalition with PDOIS securing 4 seats while the former ruling party in the first republic PPP, got only 2. An independent candidate managed to retain his seat in Basse to complete the list of elected members.
Three other coalition partners the GMC, GPDP and the NCP failed to win even a single seat.
The results were greeted with different views and the nature of the next parliament. ”This is the UDP stamping its dominance and keen to prove that it is the biggest partner in the coalition. The results have exposed the relative weak strength of the other parties in the coalition and that suits the UDP’s quest to show that they are the biggest. And it could have been worse for these smaller partners had the UDP not decided to skip some constituencies in the spirit of partnership,” said Dodou Sey, a supporter of one of the coalition parties.
Another commentator Aboulie Samba, an APRC supporter warned that people should be wary of a UDP dominated parliament. “They would do everything to protect their party’s interest only; that much I can tell you. In fact contrary to what people may think even President Barrow should be worried about this. It means that if he chooses to be his own man any day or offend the UDP’s interest, he could be in trouble in the assembly,” Samba said.
Meanwhile a UDP sympathizer who begged for anonymity assured that the UDP’s majority in the assembly will be put into the interest of the Gambia at all times. ”This verdict comes from the people of the Gambia and our party will not digress from the interest of the people. We are very much aware that the eyes of the Gambia will be on us but we will be guided by the national interest,’ he assured.
List of the National Assembly Members:
1. Muhammed Ndow- Banjul Central-PPP
2. Fatoumatta Njie-Banjul South-PPP
3. Ousman Sillah-Banjul North-PDOIS
4. Kajali Fofana-Jarra West-UDP
5. Kebba Jallow-Jarra Central-GDC
6.Sainey Touray-Jarra East-UDP
7.Yaya Gassama-Kiang East-UDP
8.BaKary Camara-Kiang Central-UDP
9.Fakebba NL Colley-kiang West-UDP
13.Madi MK Ceesay-Sk West-UDP
14.Fatou K Jawara-Tallinding-UDP
17.Matarr Jeng- Lower Niumi-UDP
18.Omar Darboe-Upper Niumi-UDP
20.Alhagie Jawara-Lower Baddibu-UDP
21.Sulayman Saho-Central Baddibu-UDP
22.Dembo KM Camara-Illiasa-UDP
23.Ousman Touray-Sabach sanjal-NRP
25.Demba Sowe-Niamina West-GDC
26.Omar Ceesay-Niamina East-GDC
27.Samba Jallow-Niamina Dankunku-NRP
28.Alhagie Darboe-Lower Fulladu West-UDP
29.Dawda Kawsu Jawara-Upper Fulladu West-UDP
30.Sainey Jawara-Lower Saloum-NRP
31.Alhagie Mbow- Upper Saloum-NRP
32.Alhagie FB Sillah-Niani-UDP
34.Alfusani Y Ceesay-Sami -UDP
35.Suwaidou Touray-Willi East-PDOIS
36.Sidia S Jatta- Wulli West-PDOIS
37.Billay G Tunkara-kantora-UDP
38.Foday NM Drammeh-Tumana -UDP
40. Alhagie H Sowe-Jimara-GDC
41.Kaddy Camara- Foni Bondali-APRC
42.Musa Amui Nyassi-Foni Kansala-APRC
44.Lamin FM Conta-Kombo East-UDP
45.Baba Galleh Jallow-Sanimentereng-UDP
46.Alhagie S Jammeh -Foni Jarrol-APRC
47.Abdoulie Ceesay-Old Yundum-UDP
49.Kebba K Barrow-Kombo South-UDP
50.Lamin J Sanneh-Brikama South-UDP
51.Alagie S Darboe- Brikama North- UDP
52. Muhammed Mahanera-Sandu -UDP
53. Sunkary Badjie-Foni Brefet-APRC
SUMMARY: Independent 1, PPP 2, PDOIS 4, APRC 5, GDC 5, UDP 31, NRP 5.