By Alagie Manneh
KMC mayoral aspirant Bakary Badjie has revealed that he has decided to stand as an independent candidate in the forth-coming mayoral election.
Speaking to The Standard yesterday, Mr Badjie said this decision came following months of meetings with ‘almost all political parties in the country’, after which he and his team thought that it is best to run as an independent candidate.
“Based on the current political situation of the country,” he stated, “and looking at our support base, we decided to remain independent. We will go in the elections as an independent candidate and challenge Gambians to overlook party affiliations and choose the candidate that fits the job,” he said.
Asked if his decision would not dash the hope of parties who may aspire to sponsor him being of young ‘astute and raw political talent’, Badjie said that is anyone’s guess before adding: “These parties were only interested in me running on their ticket and not necessarily interested in supporting me under independent basis. Having known what used to happen in the council, where each party that is in the council sees it as its own, and use tax-payers’ money to spend on political activities instead of taking care of the basic needs of the people, we think we would serve the whole KMC well when we have no loyalty to anyone who will expect rewards from us,” he said.
Badjie, a former head of programmes for the Child Protection Alliance, CPA, also took time to rubbish rumors alleging he may be ineligible to stand for mayor, after spending time in the United States.
“The last local government election was in 2012, so from 2012 to now, I was in The Gambia. So, that issue of qualification is what personally, myself and the campaign team want the people to understand, that anything that has to do with the election, I am qualified based on section 17 of the Local Government Act.”