The party with the highest stake in Gambia’s unity government stormed the country’s southwest region’s biggest city in a show of unity and urging electorates to vote in April.
Gambians are heading back to the polls to select their local government officials, a little over a year after the defeat of longtime ruler, Yahya Jammeh’s APRC party in the presidential polls.
“This is the time for us to unite because the president [Adama Barrow] is relying on you; we are all relying on you,” said the party leader and Foreign Affairs Minister Ousainou Darboe.
Far right supporters of Darboe and Mr. Barrow who were at odds over chances that the new president is seeking to solidify his support and form his own party. Barrow is a member of the UDP and ceremoniously resigned to lead the opposition coalition after UDP presented him as its presidential hopeful in 2016.
Darboe refuted allegations that relations between him and Mr. Barrow were sour. He has, however, warned those close to Barrow not to betray the trust of the soft-spoken leader.
UDP is likely to lead a coalition of its own in the country 2021 presidential elections and Mr. Darboe is highly favored to lead the party to victory against what would be a challenge posed many other coalitions.
UDP won an absolute majority in parliament last year, a testament that it is now Gambia’s largest political party. The party took 31 of the 53 available seats in the country’s National Assembly.