After more than two decades of a painful political fight, the United Democractic Party of Lawyer Ousainou Darboe has swept the first ever legislative elections held by the coalition government. The party that fielded candidates in 44 constituencies has won 31 seats.
The win has proven that the UDP is the largest party in the country. The party’s biggest gain has been recorded in the Kanifing Municipality where it won all the contested seats. Among April 6 contest winners were Fatoumata Jawara and Madi Ceesay of Tallinding and Serekunda West constituencies, respectively. The election of these two torture victims of the Jammeh regime is crucial in a country that is struggling to heal the many wounds.
The UDP also recorded clear victories in the West Coast, Lower River, North Bank and Central River Regions. Except Foni where the ousted Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC) party won all the five seats, the UDP emerge victorious in almost all the areas it contested. It has won in Sandu, Kantora and Tumana as well. The UDP lost the whole of the capital Banjul to the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) and People’s Democratic Organisation for Independence and Socialism (PDOIS).
In honour of the party leader’s promise, the UDP decided not to field candidates against PDOIS leaders, Halifa Sallah and Sedia Jatta who won their seats in Serekunda and Wuli West.
In the end, the APRC got 5, NRP 5, GDC 5, PDOIS 4, and PPP won 2 seats. One independent candidate, the sitting member for Basse Muhammed Magassy, also made it to the parliament.
President Adama Barrow is constitutionally mandated to nominate 5 members to Parliament. Among them will be the Speaker of Parliament.