The country’s independent Electoral Commission has officially announced that Incumbent President Adama Barrow, opposition leaders, Ousaniou Darboe of UDP, Mama Kandeh of GDC, Halifa Sallah of PDIOIS , new comers in Independent Candidate, Essa Mabye Faal and Abdoulie Ebrima Jammeh who leads the National Unity party are the only qualified candidates out 26 who filed nominations to contest in the December 4 Presidential Elections.

It  started with 26 candidates and one withdrawal narrowing the field to 25, but the IEC has dropped a third of the aspirants, leaving only 5 parties and one independent qualified to contest in the 2021 Presidential Elections.

Electoral chief Alieu Momar Njie who made the announcement at news conference on Saturday said most aspiring hopefuls failed to present the required paper work to back their nomination bid.

A political race that attracted more than 12 independent aspirants became trimmed to a bare minimum with aspiring debutant Essa Faal, becoming the only independent candidate to make it.

Another Newcomer, former aviationist and Brikama Born Abdoulie Ebrima Jammeh who leads the National Unity party also made it in the final call alongside the opposition UDP, GDC, PDOIS and the incumbent President Barrow who leads the National People’s Party NPP.

The race to stateHouse enters a new phase as nominations wrap up. Political Parties and their candidates are expected to begin campaigns in the next few days with the IEC set to release the campaign itinerary for the 2021 Presidential Elections.

The following were disqualified  Joseph Hendry Joof, independent Candidate,  Marie Sock, independent Candidate,  Alagie Mamady  Kurang, independent Candidate,  Ebrima Camara Manneh, Independent candidate,  Momodou Bah, Independent candidate,  Bankole Banki, independent Candidate,  Lamin Satu Bojang, ANRD, Mai Ahmad Fatty, GMC, Momodou SK Camara, Independent candidate,  Ismaila Ceesay, CA, Sheikh Tijan Hydara, GANU,  Alieu Sowe, GAP,  Sheik Matarr Nyang, Independent candidate , Papa Faal, Independent Candidate and  Yusupha A. Dumbuya of DP

Reactions

Meanwhile, Mai Ahamad has reacted to his disqualifications by the IEC in a statement released shortly after the announcement.

“I am disappointed that the IEC claimed the reason for not accepting my nomination was because we did not have the required number of 200 voters from Banjul. This is inaccurate. The process is not yet over. I will file an immediate appeal against this wrongful decision. I am convinced that the improper decision would be reversed. I call on all GMC and other supporters to remain calm as we tackle this issue,”

Gambia Democratic Party Spokesperson, Hon. Omar Ceesay also issued a statement celebrating his party’s qualification to contest in the elections.

“As the flag bearer of the Gambia Democratic Congress (GDC) and No Alliance Movement(NAM) finally got his nomination accepted by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), the leadership ( Hon. Mamma Kandeh) wishes to seize this opportunity to congratulate and thank all the supporters, militants, and sympathizers of the alliance for their sacrifices, magnanimous contributions, and support for the party’s Presidential aspirant.”

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Mr. Sainey M.K. Marenah is a Prominent Gambian journalist, founding editor The Alkamba Times and formerly head of communications at the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) and Communications and PR Consultant for The Gambia Pilot Program, under Gamworks. Mr. Marenah served as the Social media Strategist and Editor at Gambia Radio and Television Services. He is also the Banjul Correspondent for Voice of America Radio. Sainey is a human rights and developmental journalist who has carved a strong niche particularly in new media environments in the Gambian media industry. Mr. Marenah began his career as a junior reporter with the Point Newspaper in the Gambia in 2008 and rose through the ranks to become Chief correspondent before moving to The Standard Newspaper also in Banjul as Editorial Assistant and head of News. He is a household name in the Gambia’s media industry having covered some of the most important stories in the former and current government. These include the high profile treason cases including the Trial of Former military chiefs in Banjul in 2009 to 2012. Following his arrest and imprisonment by the former regime of President, Yahya Jammeh in 2014, Marenah moved to Dakar Senegal where he continues to practice Journalism freelancing for various local and international Media organization’s including the BBC, Al-Jazeera, VOA, and ZDF TV in Germany among others. He is the co-Founder of the Banjul Based Media Center for Research and Development; an institution specialized in research and development undertakings. As a journalist and Communication Expert, focused on supporting the Gambia's transitional process, Mr Marenah continues to play a pivotal role in shaping a viable media and communications platform that engages necessary tools and action to increase civic participation and awareness of the needs of transitional governance to strengthen the current move towards democratization. Mr. Marenah has traveled extensively as a professional journalist in both Europe, Africa and United States and attended several local and international media trainings.

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