Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Special Coverage: 2011 Presidential Election...

‘UDP rejects fraudulent’ presidential election results

UDP's Ousainou Darboe: 'we'll take appropriate action'
The Presidential Candidate of the United Democratic Party (UDP), Mr Lawyer Ousainou ANM Darboe has described the results of Thursday’s election in Gambia as “bogus” and says his party vehemently rejects it, while addressing his supporters at his residence along Kairaba Avenue, shortly after the incumbent was declared winner.

The Chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission, Alhagie Mustapha L. Carayol declared Yahya AJJ Jammeh winner of the November 24 presidential elections.
Yahya AJJ Jammeh won 470, 550 votes (72%) of the total vote cast. While Ousainou ANM Darboe and Hamat NK Bah, the Independent Candidate backed by four parties known as the “United Front” bagged 114, 177 (17%) and 73, 060 (11%) of the popular votes.

Mr Darboe, did not want to speak to the press after the final result was announced, instead, his party issued a preliminary statement saying: “The UDP/GMC United Alliance vehemently and unconditionally rejects the results of the just concluded Presidential Elections as announced by the Chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission.” 

Appropriate action
“The results are bogus, fraudulent, and constitute a capricious usurpation of the will of the people,” claims the UDP and the Gambia Moral Congress (GMC) led by lawyer Mai NK Fatty.
The so-called “United Alliance” urges Gambian citizens not to be hoodwinked by the results of such a conspicuously flawed process and further urges the international community not to validate the results of this preposterous fabrication.  “The United Alliance shall respond to these unacceptable results with appropriate action.”
But the statement fall short of clarifying what “appropriate action” would mean. 

Not free or fair
On the eve of the polls, the sub-regional economic bloc, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) announced it was withdrawing from its proposed “observer mission to Banjul”.
It said the election process was being held amid a “climate of fear” and that the opposition has been cowed, adding that it will not be “free and fair”, hence the environment under which the process was being conducted fall short of meeting the minimum standards.  

No response
Yahya AJJ Jammeh noted after casting his ballot that he “will not respond to ECOWAS, since the person who signed the statement was a “junior official”, apparently referring to the ECOWAS President, James Victor Gbeho.
“Well just go to McCarthy Square (now July 22nd Square), you will find armored vehicles packed there, that shows intimidation because it is intended to intimidate the people in that area as if we are in a state of conflict. I am sure the same would be the case in Foni,” Darboe alleges when asked his view on ECOWAS’s position on Gambia’s election after he cast his vote.

Mr. Hamat Bah, the Independent Candidate was not available for comment, but the Secretary General of People’s Democratic Organisation for Independence and Socialism (PDOIS), Mr Halifa Sallah, whose party is one of four backing the candidature of Mr Bah, said: “People should respect the decision of the West African grouping, ECOWAS.” 

“They do not look at who has acquired a voter card, who voting or not voting or what the campaign is like. They look at the generality of our institutions, they came to the country and look at all our institutions and they have taken a position so people should respect that,” he said.  “So you can ask them why they have taken that position and they will be able to explain if they are responsible people.” 

“As political parties, we have decided to take on this government despite the fact that it is not committed to the fundamentals of democratic principles and we know that.” “But we are taking it on to show that it does not own the country and the people. It’s will, will not prevail.”    

  • Author: Modou S. Joof

The author is a Gambian journalist, News Editor of The Voice Newspaper in Banjul and Publisher of The North Bank Evening Standard. 

Follow me on twitter: (@Msjoof)

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