The presidential nominee of the Gambia Democratic Congress Mama Kandeh has filed his candidacy papers with the Independent Electoral Commission clearing any questions if he would be joining the opposition coalition or not.
Kandeh,51, in Kombo East accused opposition groups of favoring an unnamed party, claiming his newly formed GDC has become the country’s largest opposition group. He and his supporters, mostly disgruntled ruling APRC members shunned the idea of a convention to select a coalition candidate and called for an open national primary with less than three weeks to the end of the official nomination deadlines.
Kandeh was accompanied by thousands of supporters to the election house where he presented nomination papers from 5,000 supporters, some 1,400 voters cards, a tax clearance certificate with a deposit of GMD500,000 (US$12,500). The presidential hopeful also declared his assets.
Kandeh had been a member of the opposition NRP before cross-carpeting to the APRC. It will be his second time of facing off with coalition presidential nominee Adama Barrow. Kandeh defeated Barrow in the 2007 parliamentary polls becoming a member of parliament for the Jimara Constituency, in the country’s Upper River Region.
He became a one term parliamentarian after being expelled from the ruling APRC party in April 2013.
Kandeh seems pleased to be formalizing his presidential bid amid rising pleas to join the coalition. Resentment towards his submission of nomination papers will rebuild, become stronger and hateful. His campaign has accused other party surrogates on social media of being responsible for the divide.
(Reporting from Banjul; Writing by Sam Phatey; Additional Contribution by Sainey MK Marenah; Editing by Alhagie Jobe)