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Gambia: coalition near collapse over legislative election

Gambia: coalition near collapse over legislative election

Gambia

Gambian coalition parties which united last year to deliver the first new president in 22 years are unlikely to run together for legislative elections next month, a senior government official says.

President Adama Barrow in January said his coalition government would “continue as a family” in selecting candidates for the national assembly poll on April 6, a declaration which has now been thrown into doubt.

A senior official in barrow’s government said they cannot reach an agreement on how to contest the parliamentary election.

We are going to defeat our opponents in the forthcoming election and dominate the National Assembly. We are going to field candidates in all the constituencies. We are the biggest party.

The source said one of the parties wanted 36 of the 53 constituencies to be reserved for them adding that they are parting ways.

Candidate registration began on Thursday and would last until Sunday, pressuring the parties to find a deal.

The coalition figure voiced frustration that the infighting was likely to embolden the party of former president Yahya Jammeh, who ruled the country with an iron fist for two decades until leaving for exile in January.

Chief campaigner for Jmmeh’s Alliance for patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC) said he was confident of the party chances.

“We are going to defeat our opponents in the forthcoming election and dominate the National Assembly. We are going to field candidates in all the constituencies. We are the biggest party,” he told AFP.

Barrow was formerly a member of the United Democratic Party (UDP), the largest opposition grouping in the Jammeh era, but resigned to run as the coalition flagbearer.

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