UDP AND THE POLITICAL REALISM OF NEW GAMBIA

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Sulayman Jeng

The proverbial dictum “numbers don’t lie” has stamped its truthfulness in the just concluded local government election results in new Gambia. What many ran away into solace with is the notion that social media is the sculptor of our Gambian election outcome. As such, we caressingly deduct social media activism particularly Facebook lives actualise votes on pooling day. This inconclusive notion lends support to the assumption that the numbers that go to support candidates on nomination day and to some campaign venues comfortably signals victory. Tested experience has proven that most of such numbers on the ground and support by diaspora activists on social media never translated into actual votes. Unlike Dr Ceesay’s failed prediction of the Banjul mayoral results, my assertion is amply demonstrated in results. For instance, if my claim is as shallow as his Lizzie Euston and Bakary Badjie would have been victorious and GDC would not have registered a laudable results.

It is also legit to assert albeit all parties have certain localised support in the constituencies: UDP in Jarra, APRC in Foni and PDOIS in Wuli etc for any party and/or politician to win election must stay relevant. Relevance in terms of resonating with the grassroots: needs, fears and aspirations. The campaign and results have manifested that Gambian politics has moved significantly from tribal and elitism politics to relevance, competence and inclusion. Perhaps, many who voted Rohey Lowe would not have if it were not for Lamin Jaiteh’s despicable video packaging her in a caste box.

UDP, despite being constantly crafted by its sceptics as a tribal and violent party continues to win overwhelmingly in all the election cycles. Others preposterously ascribed its victory to incumbency. Last time I checked UDP isn’t the party in government but part of a coalition in government. It wins because it remains relevant. Most of its partisan activities are executed by members and local social media team on the ground with constantly connect with the grassroots. The diaspora social media team compliments the efforts of their colleagues on the ground. Come 2021, UDP will comfortably win the presidency and secure majority in the National Assembly. UDP isn’t just a campaign period party, it works 24/7 not only to expand its membership but make Gambia a better place to live.


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