Senior UDP member jailed with Darboe is Deputy Speaker of the House

A senior member of the Gambia’s largest party, the UDP jailed with its longtime leader, Ousainou Darboe for taking part in protests that scarred former president, Yahya Jammeh’s chances of winning the elections.

Momodou Sanneh, a former minority leader of the Gambia’s National Assembly has been sworn-in as deputy speaker of the house after being nominated to the position by President Adama Barrow.

Sanneh was sentenced to three years in prison in the summer of 2016 ahead of the presidential polls, in which his party united with seven other opposition groups to defeat Jammeh in December.

He was a senior police chief in post-colonial Gambia and comes from the country’s southeastern region of Kiang, an opposition stronghold during Jammeh’s 22-year dictatorial rule.

Gambia’s new deputy speaker, Momodou Sanneh (far right in blue haftan and red hat) marches with opposition leaders in Banjul, April 2016

The reported torture-death of one of Sanneh’s junior colleagues, Ebrima Solo Sandeng prompted him and Darboe, now Gambia’s Foreign Secretary to take to the streets to demand his release, death or alive.

UDP came from a two-decade opposition politics to winning an absolute majority in the legislative polls last week. A political shift that many welcomed.

International observers say the polls were free, fair and transparent in the first major vote since Jammeh’s ouster. Jammeh fled to Equatorial Guinea, where he took up the job of ‘farmer-in-exile’ after regional forces advanced towards the capital to oust him.

Comments are closed.