Thousands of supporters of the Gambia’s former President Yahya Jammeh gathered outside the capital, Banjul in an unprecedented rally since the ex-ruler’s exile.
Accompanied by traditional drumming, singing, and dancing, supporters swarm the car of the APRC party’s interim leader, Fabakary Tombong Jatta to a soccer park.
Jammeh’s most trusted political allies, Mayor Yankuba Colley, MP Musa Amul Nyassi and ex-MP Seedy Njie were cheered on by supporters wearing t-shirts with imprints of the former strongman.
Jammeh was defeated in the election last year and the APRC party lost all its seats in Parliament, except for five from the now opposition stronghold of Foni, Jammeh’s native region.
West African troops forced Jammeh to forfeit power after accusing the electoral commission of rigging the polls under international pressure, paving way for new leader Adama Barrow to take over.
But Jammeh’s supporters are showing the former ruling party is still a force to reckon. The party is confident that despite authorities accusing Jammeh of embezzlement of state funds, they will sweep the next presidential polls.
Gambians are heading to the polls in next year to select their local government representatives. It will be a test of the APRC’s strength. Colley, the Mayor of KMC has decided not to seek a new mandate, and the APRC winning or losing the commercial municipality is critical to its popularity.