The Gambia’s ruling APRC Party will be participating in the West African nation’s parliamentary and local government elections after a shocking loss in the presidential polls, a senior member of the party, who wishes to remain anonymous because he was not authorized to speak to the press said.
APRC’s President Yahya Jammeh lost to a coalition of opposition parties in the December 1 presidential elections. He had earlier accepted the results but now refusing to step down.
The ruling party is now turned into the country’s largest opposition group and had maintained a majority in the parliament during Jammeh’s rule. Discontent towards Jammeh may, however, affect their bid to main a governing status and influence over policies by winning a majority of the seats in parliament.
Gambian opposition parties had boycotted parliamentary polls giving Jammeh the power to pass legislations that favor his administration and oppress opposition views. Such legislations, including a change, in electoral regulations, however, backfired.
APRC’s Mayor Yankuba Colley had urged supporters of the party “to remain solidly behind the party and work towards achieving victory in subsequent elections,” days after losing the presidential elections.
The party’s Secretary General and a Gambian minister Bala Garba Jahumpa has officially filed a legal challenge to the presidential results in the Supreme Court seeking to nullify them and calling for fresh polls.
President Yahya Jammeh said there were irregularities in the polls and accused the electoral commission of incompetence and rigging the polls.
The Gambian people are due to return to the polls in the Spring of next year to vote for parliamentarians, ward councilors, and mayors.