Some called it foiled coup, others called it “ Jangfa” betrayal, but the UDP old guard were able to send Barrow’s team packing at the Congress—with the amendment of the party’s Constitution—barring Civil Servants from vying for Executive positions at the UDP. The plan was for Alkali Conteh, a member of the Public Service Commission (PSC) to run for UDP Deputy Party Leader, and Lamin Cham, a Personal Assistant to President Barrow to vey for the position of National Youth President. Both men were disqualified by virtue of the amended UDP Constitution preventing Civil Servants from becoming members of their Executive.
“Yes, it’s true Alkali Conteh decided to abandon his ambition to become the party’s Deputy Leader. He stepped aside after realizing that it’s a lost cause. Their strategy was to make a palace coup. Their plan was to occupy certain strategic positions within the UDP and leave the position of Ousainou Darboe and others for now. Then they will wait for the next congress in December 2020 to boot out Ousainou Darboe,” sources close to the UDP said.
“They already got Dembo By Force in their pockets and will support them to replace Darboe with Barrow,” our source added.
Mr. Conteh used to live in the United States. He returned home, following the change of government back in 2016. His original plan was to oppose the Deputy UDP Leader Aji Yam Secka.
The 1997 Constitution also prohibits Civil Servants from holding official positions in political parties. Conteh’s membership with the Public Service Commission disqualifies him to be voted into the UDP Executive.
Lamin Cham was booed while he was addressing the UDP Congress. Both Conteh and Cham left the Congress disappointed.
Dodou Sanno was also asked to leave the Congress. His presence at the Congress was not welcomed by the UDP. The reason being, UDP officials said, Sanno was not among the delegates scheduled to vote. He was also not an observer accredited to monitor the Congress.