THE SELECTION OF FLAG BEARER AND THE CHALLENGES

The Opposition parties driven by the demand of the population for one candidate to contest the 2016 Presidential election created a mechanism to select a flag bearer. 8 party stakeholders and one Independent presidential aspirant started with the process namely, GDC, GMC, GPDP, NCP, NRP, PDOIS, PPP, UDP and the Independent.

The GDC and the Independent decided to withdraw.  GMC, GPDP and PPP did not put up candidates. The parties which already had their presidential candidates were NCP, NRP, PDOIS and UDP. They were asked to agree to submit their candidature to a vote by delegates selected by each party numbering 70 delegates per party. This gave a total number of 490 delegates.

The delegates were asked not to be dictated by any personal or party interest but should base their choice on national interest.

The combined votes of the delegates of the three parties which did not put up candidates are 210. These were the decisive votes that could have brought about a second round of voting if they were distributed among the delegates. These decisive delegates have spoken. This is why Mr. Adama Barrow had 308 votes. Hon. Hamat Bah 72, Halifa Sallah 65 and Dr Lamin  Bojang 40.

Mr Adama Barrow is made a flag-bearer by the votes of cross party delegates.

What next?  He is to resign from his party and stand as an Independent Candidate.

What is necessary now is for the UDP members, in particular, and all parties, in general, to see Mr. Adama Barrow as a Candidate of a Coalition rather than the candidate of a party. Once he is presented and promoted as a candidate of his party of origin the whole coalition agenda is likely to be put into question.

The UDP leadership is expected to assist Mr. Adama Barrow to make this transition from a party candidate to the candidate of a coalition.