Friday, April 6, 2012

Independent Candidate Takes Kombo Central

PIX SOURCE: The northbankeveningstandard blo

Voters in the Kombo Central constituency on 29 March, 2012 voted out  APRC Abdou FHS Jarju, and replaced him with Mr. Buba Ayi Sanneh, an Independent candidate as their National Assembly member for the next five years.
 Described by many as the “choice of the people” in the area, Sanneh secured a total number of 13, 903 votes and APRC’s Jarju got 11,912 - a margin of 1,992 votes representing a total of 48 percent.
“The turn out for this National Assembly election is very low,” said Madam Isatou Jaiteh, Presiding Officer Wellingara Praying Ground Polling Station, Stream three speaking to Mansa Banko.

According to her, since polls opened as early as 7 am, the turn out was not impressive, adding that it was the men who voted in a large numbers.
“I think that the ladies will come later in the day to cast their votes, because most of the time, the ladies go to the market to do their shopping before they cast their votes. 
“Therefore, I based my comment on that but I’m sure the ladies will turn out in large numbers to cast their votes,” she remarked.
When asked whether all the party agent were represented at her polling stream, in reply, Madam Jaiteh said that party agents for the two candidates were all represented.
She added that party agents were not late and all the inspections and sealing of the ballot drums were done in their presence.
“At this polling station- stream three- we have two party agents for each candidate,” she stated.
 Mr. Lamin Sidibeh, party agent for the APRC candidate,  also attested that the turnout out was very low compared to the presidential election.
According to him, many voters did not turn-up to exercise their constitutional rights.
Mr. Sainey Bah Danjo, representative for the Independent candidate said that voting started at 7: 00 am and was to close at 6:00 pm as stipulated by the Independent Electoral Commission; but was quick to say “ if a voter is in the queue, she or she will be allowed to cast his or her vote for the candidate of his or her choice.” 
Danjo noted that since polls opened, voting had gone smoothly and they had not encountered any problem.
At the Kabifita Polling Station, Mr. Karamba SF Sisawo Presiding Officer, also confirmed that polls opened at 7 am, but noted low turnout at the time.  He added that all the election materials- Tokens and ballot drums were in place well before polls opened, and vouched that party agents, and polling staff were present.
Sisawo further confirmed  that all the party agents arrived before voting commenced, and they all witnessed the sealing of the ballot drums.
At the Brimaka Kabafita Polling Station, Assistant polling officers- Ms Binta Trawally, Awa Bojang and Binta Sawaneh respectively, said that since polls opened at the polling stations, they had not encountered any problems with voters.
The assistant polling officers who were found sitting at the entrance of Kabiafita Polling Station said that they were stationed there just to give right direction to the voters as to which stations they should cast their votes at.
According to them, when voters come to cast their votes, they ask voters their surnames and after knowing their surnames, then they direct the voter to the stream he or she should vote.
These, they said, made it easier for  the voter to know were to cast his or her vote.
At the Brikama Nema Geebuntoo Polling Station,  presiding officer, Mr. Baba Jobe said that people (voters) are responding but not much. He added that all the party agents are present and since polls were declared open, less than 200 voters cast their votes out of 680 votes in stream 4, as at the time of talking to our reporter.
“The turn-out is average as at now more than 200 voters have exercised their constitutional rights- cast their votes, says Mr. Bubacarr Samba, presiding officer at the Perseverance Polling Station in Brikama.
According to him, no voter came to cast his or her vote while putting on party colour, adding that he believed that many voters have now understood that people should not go to polling stations while putting on party colours.
 At the Perseverance Bantaba Polling Station, presiding officers, assistant polling officers and representatives of party agents all described the voting process as free and fair.
Ms.  Amie Ceesay, a voter at the Perseverance Bantaba Polling Station was asked why she decided to come at mid-day, Ceesay reply to our reporter’s was that she went to the market and did shopping for the family.
According to her, in the morning many people normally come to cast their votes and for her, she could not wait for so long in the queue that’s why she decided to go to the market and later cast her vote.
At Brikama Suma Kunda, our reporter was told by the presiding officer, Ousman Kebba Kebbeh that the turn-out was good, saying that more females voted than the males.
He also noted that all the two candidates have their party agents represented. 
Presiding Officer at Hawla Kunda stream 2, Madam Ramatoulie Camara said that at her polling station, since polls opened at 7:00 am, more males had voted than the females.
At Nyambai Baba Galleh polling station, presiding officer Mrs Isatou Jatta said that the party agent for the independent candidate was late and found them sealing the ballot drums. 
Mr. Ebrima Sabally, party agent for the Independent candidate Buba Ayi Sanneh said that he arrived at 6:35 when he (Sabally) found that the ballot drums were already sealed, but added that voting started in his presence.
He said that the turn out was not impressive when compared to the presidential election.
Shortly after declared winner, Honorable Buba Ayi Sanneh told Mansa Banko that his victory is a clear testimony to the ruling party that he (Sanneh) is the true choice of Kombo Central.
According to him, he (Sanneh) has vowed that he would not betray the trust and confidence bestowed on him by the electorate of Kombo Central, and he promised to deliver to the expectations of the people  by brining meaningful developments in his constituency.

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