A political deal between the National Reconciliation Party and the main opposition United Democratic Party is about to be finalized to nominate an independent candidate, who will challenge Gambia’s incumbent dictator Yahya Jammeh, in the upcoming Presidential elections slated for December, 1st, 2016, the Freedom Newspaper has been reliably informed. There has been intensive political talks between the two sister political parties in recent weeks—with the view of agreeing on an independent candidate to represent the opposition in the pending elections. Sources familiar with the ongoing talks said NRP’s Hamat Bah, will be the likely candidate to represent the two political parties come December. There hasn’t been any official statement to that effect to confirm or deny such reports.

According to sources, a proposal was made for Hamat Bah to lead the proposed opposition merger, and Bah has wholeheartedly accepted the political opportunity availed to him by his colleagues in the opposition.

“The UDP guys have come up with a proposal to make Hamat Bah as their independent candidate. Hamat Bah, has agreed apparently. This is coming from a very reliable source. Maybe you have already heard about it anyway,” said our source.

The UDP Leader Ousainou Darboe and his colleagues are serving time in jail. They have been sentenced to three years in prison on allegations of organizing a protest without a permit. Mr. Darboe is overaged in view of the 1997 constitution. The 65 years age limit provision attached to the constitution disqualifies Mr. Darboe from vying for the Presidency.

The GDC leader Mama Kandeh recently told his supporters that he is open to an opposition alliance, but he made it categorically clear that nothing is going to stop him from opposing Jammeh in the coming polls even in the absence of an alliance.

Hamat Bah could not be reached for immediate comment. Both Dembo By-Force Bojang and Aji Yam Secka were also indisposed for comment at press time.

In another development, a source close to the UDP leadership has denied the story. The source said Hamat Bah, paid a courtesy call on the family of the late Solo Krumah at Ousainou Darboe’s home at Pipeline to sympathize with the deceased’s family. 

“Hamat Bah is a questionable character. He is one of the major stumbling blocks for an alliance. The UDP doesn’t lack a candidate to represent them in the coming polls. Take it from me, Hamat Bah is not our candidate. He was at Darboe’s home to sympathize with the family of Solo Kurumah. He met Aji Yam Secka during his visit at Darboe’s home. Hamat is not rusted by his colleagues,” said our source. 

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