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Meet Presidential Candidates of the 2021 The Gambia Presidential Elections

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The Gambia goes to the polls on December 4 to elect a president, the first since the Yahya Jammeh administration was toppled in 2017.

Six presidential candidates, out of an initial 21 vying for the highest office of the land, were approved by the country’s Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) earlier this month.

In this report, we present the six candidates who made it through the pre-election process and will contest to serve the Gambian people.

Adama Barrow, Candidate of the National People’s Party (NPP)

Credit: Aljazeera

Adama Barrow, the incumbent president, rose to prominence after defeating former President Yahya Jammeh in the 2016 elections.

Mr Barrow was a member of the United Democratic Party (UDP), which later formed a coalition with seven opposition parties that won him the 2016 presidential elections. Born in Basse, he studied in the United Kingdom and he is the third president of The Gambia.

In December 2019, Barrow founded the National People’s Party (NPP) as a platform to  seek a second term in the 2021 Gambian presidential election after relations deteriorated between Barrow and his former party, UDP. In 2019, Barrow dismissed UDP party leader Ousainou Darboe as his vice president following disagreements. 

The NPP is said to be here to solve the problems of the country. The white horse is its symbol and dark grey is its colour. The party’s motto is “Peace, Progress and Unity.” 

Abdoulie Jammeh, Candidate of the National Unity Party (NUP)

Gambia's EX- Aviation boss Abdoulie Ebrima Jammeh is the flag bearer for  the national unity party (NUP)
Credit: The World News Platform

Mr Abdoulie Ebrima Jammeh was the Director-General of The Gambia Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) for several years and also served as the Head of the Banjul Accord Group (BAG) Secretariat. He is the standard-bearer of the National Unity Party and will lead the party into the December 4 elections.

The NUP’s motto is “Unity in Strength,” depicting that in unity lies the solutions to the challenges the country currently faces.  The party’s secretariat is located in Brusubi Phase II in West Coast Region and its colours are orange and white. Tractor and plant stalks are its symbol. The National Unity Party (NUP) was registered on the 6th of October 2020.

Mama Kandeh, Candidate of the Gambia Democratic Congress (GDC)

The Party leader and presidential candidate of the Gambia Democratic Congress (GDC), Mama Kandeh, attended Crab Island School in Banjul and Gambia Technical Training Institute (GTTI) in Jeshwang KMC. 

He was elected in 2007 as Member Parliament for the then ruling party, the Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC), for Jimara constituency, defeating the UNDP candidate and current President Adama Barrow. 

He contested and placed third in the 2016 presidential election.

The GDC Party was established on the 11th May 2016 by its current leader, Mama Kandeh after his expulsion from the APRC. Its motto is ‘One Gambia, One People’’ and the symbol is open calabash in two hands while its colour is purple. Its secretariat is located at Brusubi, Kombo North.

Halifa Sallah, Candidate of the People’s Democratic Organization for Independence and Socialism (PDOIS)

Credit: Sahel Network

Honourable Halifa Sallah, a co-founder of the Democratic Organization for independence and Socialism (PDOIS), studied in the United States, graduating with a degree in sociology. He returned to the Gambia in 1977 and worked as a social worker in the Social Welfare Department. Hon. Sallah is a member of the National Assembly representing the Serekenda area. 

The People’s Democratic Organization for Independence and Socialism (PDOIS) was founded on 31 July 1986. Its motto is liberty, dignity and prosperity and the secretariat is located at Churchill town, Serekunda. 

The party colour is brown and the sun with sixteen rays is its symbol. 

PDOIS began publishing its own newspaper Foroyaa, in July 1987, where it was critical of the pro-Western Foreign Policy of the former president, Dawda Jawara. He opposed the Senegambia confederation. 

Ousainou Darboe, Candidate of the United Democratic Party (UDP)

Credit: Aljazeera

Ousainou Darboe is considered one of the strongest contenders of the elections. He is a Human Rights Lawyer and Former Vice President of the Gambia Bar Association. 

Mr Darboe was appointed by President Adama Barrow as the Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and Gambians abroad in 2017 and later as the Vice President and Minister of Women’s Affairs from June 2018 to March 2021. 

He studied in the Gambia, Nigeria and Canada where he obtained a Master’s degree in Law. The UDP was part of the 2016 coalition that won the election against former President Yahya Jammeh.

The United Democratic Party (UDP) was founded in 1961 by the current party leader, Ousainou Darboe. The party’s motto is “Peace and Progress”. Its Secretariat is in Banjul and the party colour is yellow with a unity handshake as its symbol. 

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