Gambia President Barrow wins 2nd term, opposition rejects


The outgoing President of The Gambia, Adama Barrow, won re-election in the first ballot held in decades without longtime leader Yahya Jammeh.

Barrow received around 53% of the vote on Saturday, with his main rival Ousainou Darboe of the United Democratic Party (UDP) obtaining 28%, according to the results of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) announced on Sunday.

Barrow’s victory, however, has already been contested by four opposition leaders who are concerned about “undue delay” in announcing the results.

With a vote that set the bar for a new chapter in the West African nation’s democracy, it was the country’s first presidential election in decades that did not include former dictator Yahya Jammeh, who lives now in exile in Equatorial Guinea after losing the 2016 elections and refusing to accept defeat.

CEI President Alieu Mommar Njie announced the results and prayed for peace to reign in the country of approximately 2.4 million people.

“I hereby declare Adama Barrow duly elected President of the Republic of The Gambia,” he said, after indicating that the National People’s Party (NPP) emerged victorious with 457,519 of the votes cast. UDP’s Darboe, on the other hand, got 238,253 votes, he noted.

Barrow’s supporters celebrated after the partial presidential election results showed him leading in the town of Banjul.

Supporters of Gambian President Adama Barrow celebrate the victory of their presidential candidate in Banjul, The Gambia on December 5, 2021. (AP Photo)

Supporters of Gambian President Adama Barrow celebrate their victory in the presidential elections in Banjul, The Gambia, on November 5, 2021 (AFP photo)

Demba Sabally, who represented the NPP at the elections office, said the presidential election was transparent and fair and added: “The Gambia is the winner of this election.

Gambian opposition rejects early election results

Polling stations closed at 5 p.m. on Saturday during peaceful elections in The Gambia. Although election officials said the election was fair, the results have already been contested by four opposition leaders, including Darboe and Gambian Democratic Congress (GDC) leader Mama Kandeh, who held a point on Sunday. press to challenge the credibility of the vote.

Flanked by independent candidate Essa Mbye Faal and Kandeh, Darboe read a joint statement on Sunday rejecting the announcement of the electoral commission’s results and urged Gambians to remain calm while investigations continue.

UDP supporters claim the results are rigged in Barrow’s favor, although they immediately provided no proof of the accusation.

Barrow said after the vote that if he expected a “crushing triumph” he was ready to “accept the results”.

The opposition has the right to demand the results before the Supreme Court within 10 days. It is feared that the objections could lead to violence.

“The opposition needs evidence to back up its claims”

Activist Banka Manneh told the Associated Press (AP) he would not deny opposition leaders their right to demonstrate. But, he added: “They have to provide proof of their claims. The courts are there to settle the dispute.”

Thousands of people stormed the Westfield Youth Monument, located in the heart of Serrekunda, to celebrate Barrow’s re-election.

“President Barrow is a man of peace. We must give him a chance to pursue his development projects,” Modou Ceesay, 36, a resident of New Jeshwang, told AP.

Fatou Faal from Kanifing told AP the Gambians have done “the right thing by giving Barrow a chance to complete the development projects he has started”.

Nearly 860,000 Gambians came to vote on Saturday, a high number which shows the determination of many to exercise their democratic rights as demands for justice in the post-Jammeh era increase.

Barrow emerged victorious in 2016 as a candidate for an opposition coalition that tested Jammeh’s 22-year rule. After initially agreeing to step down, Jammeh resisted and a six-week crisis saw neighboring West African countries prepare to send troops to stage a military intervention. Jammeh was forced into exile.

Jammeh’s two decades of rule were marked by arbitrary arrests, enforced disappearances and summary executions that were revealed by dramatic testimony during the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission hearings that lasted for years.

Earlier, the commission delivered its 17-volume report to Barrow, urging him to ensure that those responsible for human rights violations are prosecuted.

Barrow is committed to fighting for justice for victims.


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