By Bekai Njie
Papa Njie has been elected to steer the affairs of the People’s Progressive Party’s (PPP) at a congress held this evening.
In a tightly contested race, Mr. Njie, the former independent candidate for KMC Mayoral election in 2018 emerged victorious over his formidable challenger, Bakary Bunja Darbo, a one-time vice president and minister of Finance in PPP’s government. From the total number votes casted, Mr. Njie secured 272, while Mr. Darboe’s got 227.
On Thursday, Mr. Darboe had announced his political ambition of running for the Office of Secretary General and Party Leader of the PPP.
However, his comments came in contrast to Omar Jallow’s, the outgoing party leader who at one-time said it was time for younger people to assume their rightful positions in the party.
Mr. Jallow at the congress had endorsed Papa Njie for the leadership position of the PPP – an endorsement that puts many votes under its belt.
After his victory, Mr. Njie expressed delight for being elected to the PPP’s highest position, saying it’s an indication that PPP is reviving to suit the younger generation.
He said that PPP is the only political party that is giving equal opportunity to new comers to compete with the old ones for positions.
He therefore thanked the electorate for electing him to lead the party.
Mr. Darboe, 68, and an economist, on the other hand is man of clean political record and ambition, but has not been seen on the national political scene for more than 20 years.
During the opening event of the congress on Friday, Omar Jallow said: “We are meeting today with a renewed vigor to revive the PPP to serve the Gambian people again.”
He called on The Gambia government to look for funds and compensate the families of the people that were killed; especially during the April 10-11 in 2000. He said that the victims are suffering and something needs to be done for them.
“I am calling on all the people of The Gambia to see the Gambia first than their political parties.”
Mr. Darboe, last week at a press conference in Fajara, said his decision to vie for the position came after careful consideration and widespread appeals for him to put his name forward for the position. He added that running for a position, whether as leader or as any other role in the party in a congress is different from running for presidency of the country.