The Gambia’s youngest political party, Gambia Democratic Congress (GDC) poses a more dangerous threat to country’s longtime political parties in Thursday’s parliamentary elections than they did to the APRC during the presidential polls.
The party, led by former APRC parliamentarian, Mama Kandeh had fielded candidates in all districts in hopes to win a majority in the National Assembly. Mama Kandeh came third in the presidential polls and won as many votes as the UDP in the 2011 elections without joining a coalition.
While Kandeh’s GDC will not win a majority, he is expected to win nearly a dozen seats from the districts were his party did well during the presidential elections in Niumi, Central River and in the Upper River.
Many of the former ruling APRC supporters have been switching their allegiance to GDC since last year. The cross carpeting of APRC supporters to the GDC has surged and with many people are disappointed with the veteran political parties that united to defeat Jammeh.
The longtime Jammeh opposition parties could not agree on either a coalition-led approach or tactical alliance. The result was finger pointing and blaming one another for the divide. They have all pitched candidates against one another in nearly all the districts.
GDC’s Mama Kandeh during his tour of the nation, while campaigning for his mostly youthful candidates, used this to his advantage. Unlike any other opposition leader in the past, Kandeh promised to build boreholes in communities where piped water is inaccessible.
The African Union and the EU have sent observers to monitor Thursday’s parliamentary elections. The political leaders make a good number of President Adama Barrow’s cabinet, who will not be getting a rubber stamp pass from the parliament like his predecessor.