The current head of state of the Gambia, Adama Barrow, was declared this Sunday, December 5, as the winner of the presidential elections. This was confirmed by the country’s Electoral Commission, which is expected to govern for another five years.
Until late at night, hundreds of people celebrated in the streets of Banjul this Sunday, December 5, following the announcement by the Gambian Electoral Commission of the results of the presidential elections.
The elections held this weekend are the first to be organized in 27 years without the presence of former President Yahya Jammeh, who had to go into exile in Equatorial Guinea after refusing to accept defeat against Barrow, elected in 2016.
For 22 years, Jammeh ruled in this small West African nation of 2.5 million people. His dictatorship began after a coup in 1994 and was characterized by the murder and torture of countless political opponents.
Today, many Gambians celebrate that the current president remains in power, considering that it represents a victory for the young democracy of this country.
Barrow was clearly ahead of his main competitor, Ousainou Darboe, in around 50 constituencies out of 53. However, the president’s opponents announced that they will contest the results and reserve “all means of action.”
The opposition is reluctant to accept Barrow’s victory
This Saturday, almost a million Gambians were called to the polls to choose from six candidates, all men, the next leader of the nation.
However, the elections were announced as a duel between Adama Barrow and his opponent, Ousainou Darboe.
“At this stage we reject the results announced so far” by the Commission, Darboe said this Sunday, along with two other of the six competitors.
“All means of action are on the table,” he added, calling on “all Gambians to keep calm and peace” while the investigations are being carried out, as apparently “a series of problems” were registered during the vote count.
President from exile
The arrival of Adama Barrow to power in 2016 marked the end of more than twenty years of dictatorship of former President Yahya Jammeh.
Before going into politics, Barrow made his fortune in real estate. Later, he was active in the United Democratic Party (UDP) of Ousainou Darboe and was chosen for the presidential elections of December 1, 2016 as the candidate of an opposition coalition of eight parties.
At that time, Barrow won with 43.29% of the votes against Yahya Jammeh who obtained 39.64% and who had, until then, been ruling the country for 22 years.
But the eccentric Jammeh did not like this much and his reluctance to leave power led to a two-month crisis in The Gambia. Barrow had to go into exile in Senegal and from there he swore his position, to do it again in Banjul on his return.
With Reuters, EFE and AFP