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PDOIS elects Halifa as presidential candidate

Feb 26, 2016, 10:15 AM

Members of the People’s Democratic Organisation for Independence and Socialism (PDOIS) have nominated Halifa Sallah as the Presidential Candidate of the Party for the 2016 Presidential election, in the first phase of the party’s Primaries held recently.

The exercise covered all parts of the country including Banjul, KMC, WCR, LRR, NBR, CRR South and URR.

The Presiding Officers 1 and 2 of the Primaries, Sidia Jatta and Amie Sillah, who signed a February 24 statement declaring the results of the democratic exercise, said:

“Having presided over the counting of all the nomination forms submitted so far before the deadline established for submission, we the two appointed presiding personnel responsible for the declaration of results, hereby confirm that Halifa Sallah has been duly nominated as the Presidential Candidate of the Party for the 2016 Presidential election in the first phase of the Primaries.”

PDOIS is required by Article 91 of the Party Constitution to hold a Primary to select its candidates for any election, a press release from the Central Committee of the Party stated.

“In this regard, the Central Committee issued nomination forms for every member of the Party to enable each member to participate in the first phase of the selection of the Presidential Candidate of the Party for the December 1st, 2016, Presidential election,” the release went on.

“The rules indicate that should there be 2 or more nominees with 20 percent or more support from the members, election should take place between the two persons with the largest number of Party supporters.

“In the absence of such support, any person with more than 50 per cent support from members automatically becomes the Presidential candidate for the Party in that given presidential election.”

At the end of the process, the release stated, Halifa Sallah was duly nominated as the Presidential Candidate of the Party for the 2016 Presidential election.

Hallifa Sallah, 63, contested in the presidential election of September 2006, taking third place with 6% of the total vote cast in that election.

It would be recalled that the IEC electoral laws presently stipulate that age limit for contesting for presidency in The Gambia is 65 years, hence all presidential aspirants above this age are ineligible to contest for the position of president of The Gambia, come 1 December 2016.

Mr Sallah once served as the Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly and was a member of the Pan-African Parliament.

He represented the constituency of Serrekunda Central until the 25 January 2007 National Assembly election, in which he lost to Sainey Jaiteh of the ruling APRC.

Mr Sallah, secretary general of the PDOIS, was one of the main figures in the opposition coalition National Alliance for Democracy and Development (NADD).

In June 2005 Mr Sallah was, along with the other three opposition MPs, expelled from the National Assembly on the grounds of dual party membership.

NADD had been registered as a political party and the Supreme Court of the Gambia judged that it went against the Gambian Constitution to belong to two parties at the same time.

On 29 September a by-election was held, in which Sallah was reelected with a huge margin.

Meanwhile, the PDOIS has set 19 March 2016 as the date for the inauguration of Mr Sallah’s candidature, and “all Party supporters and well-wishers are invited to the ceremony and all subsequent rallies which will be held to mark the official launching of the PDOIS Presidential Campaign”.