By Omar Bah
The opposition United Democratic Party’s losing candidate in Saturday’s local government councilor elections in Serekunda Bartez Ward, Tobaski Sibi, has said he will go to court to challenge the results which declared his opponent Ousman Darboe of the NPP as winner.
He further accused the IEC of denying him a very clear victory.
According to the final results announced by the IEC for the Bartez Ward, the NPP candidate Ousman Darboe got 662 votes, Karim Darboe of PDOIS 485, Ansu Camara of PPP -84, Tobaski Sibi of UDP 633, Abdou Jallow Independent 44 and Yusupha Melo Savage, Independent – 34 votes.
But speaking to Star FM’s Wake Up Gambia Show to be aired today, the UDP candidate said: “According to our records and the results certified by all the agents, the NPP candidate secured 626 votes while I got 633 votes. In fact, the majority of the candidates called and congratulated me on my victory”.
Mr Sibi alleged that the IEC changed the results at Plaza Cinema Polling Station where the NPP candidate’s initial 48 votes was changed to 84 by the returning officer after the confirmation of the results by all the agents.
“It was around midnight that the IEC called and asked me to go and when I arrived, they showed me a new result which indicated that the NPP candidate has 84 votes instead of the 48 signed by all the agents. So, they, the IEC added extra votes for him which was not signed by any party agent,” the UDP candidate alleged.
Mr Sibi said he has decided to go to court and challenge the decision.
“I want to urge all my supporters to remain calm and be law-abiding. I am confident that I will win the case because the IEC has no reason to deny my victory because even if they realised they have made a mistake they should have called all of us and recount the votes. So, as far as I am concerned, I am the winner and it shall stay like that until the court decides otherwise,” he said.
He said his campaign has video proof of NPP militants distributing money on the night of the election to induce voters. “We will include all these videos in the petition,” he said.
The Standard tried calling the IEC communications director Pa Makan Khan for reactions but he would not pick our calls and did not respond to our enquiries sent by text until press time.