Barrow downplays a 2026 rematch with Darboe, says 2026 defeat will be worst than 2021

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President Adama Barrow Photo Credit: State House Media

President Adama Barrow has hinted for the first time his intentions of contesting the 2026 presidential elections while downplaying a win for UDP leader should he throw his hat in the boxing ring.

Speaking in Sami, an opposition stronghold and an area veteran opposition leader, Ousianou Darboe of UDP hails from on Sunday; President Barrow said he was not in Sami to campaign as elections are over.

“I heard they are telling people that President Barrow is leaving power soon, and they are the government in the waiting. That’s the type of message they are telling people, BUT tell them President Barrow is still here and not going anytime soon,” Barrow said.

“If anyone is ready, wait until 2026; what I will do to them in 2026 will be far worse than in 2021, Barrow confidently told party supporters, signaling plans to contest the 2026 elections as the ruling party candidate. “Politics is over, and Barrow is not campaigning,’ he told supporters.

Barrow laughs about Darboe’s failure as a politician but quickly describes him at the Sami meeting as his ‘father’ and says opposition parties, including UDP, cannot bring meaningful developments to the area.

“I am here in Sami and am sending greetings to my father. I bring Laminkoto- Passama road, electricity, and road projects for his people. I want to send him (Darboe) a message: tell him what he wants again; I will proudly do whatever he wants me to do for him because I’m his eldest son. He is my father, and I will still seek his blessings,” He added, calling on the people of Sami to join his government in developing the Gambia, including the Sami.

He said the opposition couldn’t bring any meaningful development to the people of Sami.

“Today, God gives me the power to govern to develop and help Gambians, which is my work. But I heard these days they are saying Barrow is leaving power soon,” President Barrow said.

In December 2021, President Barrow won the elections with 457,519 votes, 53.2 percent of all the votes cast against his primary challenger Ousainou Darboe of the UDP, who came second with 238,253 votes (27.7 percent), Mamma Kandeh of the GDC with 105,902 votes (12.3 percent), Halifa Sallah of PDOIS with 32,435 votes (3.8 percent) Independent candidate Essa Mbye Faal with 17,206 votes (2.0 percent) and Abdoulie Jammeh of the NUP with 8,252 votes (1.0 percent).

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