The leader of the Gambia Democratic Congress has refuted rumours doing the rounds that he is being sponsored by President Yahya Jammeh to disunite the opposition ahead of polls slated for December 1.
Mamma Kandeh who has shown an impressive turnout of supporters at his nomination in the election house told journalists that Jammeh was never his boss but his president.
“Jammeh was not my boss. He was my president but my boss was the people of Jimara… I am not a puppet… No political party or individual is putting me up as a candidate… These are rumours and we can’t stop people from saying what they think…,” Kandeh told journalists after the nomination.
“I am not being funded or put up by President Jammeh… I am the first Gambian who have worked with President Jammeh and formed my own political party and challenge him.”
Traditional Gambian opposition parties have formed a coalition last week but the GDC disagreed with colleagues over the method of selection.
However, the GDC leader told journalists that they are still ready to reconsider their decision with regards to the coalition if their colleagues are ready for open national polls to select its flag bearer.
“Our doors are always open as long as the primary process is done in the right way. We have until the 29 of November. It is not three or four people to decide who should be a leader of a coalition…
“We should conduct our polls all over the country for the people to vote and whoever wins can be the leader of the coalition,” he said.
The disagreement between Kandeh and colleagues was largely based on the lack of time and financial resources, given the proximity of polls, to hold an open national convention to select a leader.
Opposition leaders have argued that an open national convention will overstretch the already shoestring budget of the opposition parties, thus they limit voters from every region to 70 people at the convention.
“The resources will be available if we want to do that… I am not going to fund it because we are not the only party…,” Kandeh argued.
Nomination of candidates continues on the 9 with the coalition and ending on 10 November when Jammeh will appear.