Tuesday 20 March 2018

Gambia president's party takes majority of seats in parliament election

Gambians wait to cast their vote at a polling station (AP)
Gambians wait to cast their vote at a polling station (AP)

The party of Gambia's new president has won a majority of seats in the new parliament after two decades of domination by the party of former leader Yahya Jammeh, officials said.

President Adama Barrow's United Democratic Party won 31 seats in the 53-seat National Assembly, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) announced.

The results mean Mr Barrow can move ahead with promised transitions towards greater freedoms.

Mr Barrow, who beat Mr Jammeh in December elections, has promised a path towards reconciliation and greater freedoms in the tiny West African country.

Mr Jammeh's government was long accused of rights abuses.

The former ruling Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction party was reduced to five seats, according to results read out by IEC chair Alieu Momarr Njai. He called the vote free and fair.

Various parties that joined together to back Mr Barrow in the December election but ran separately on Thursday won the remaining seats.

While more than 880,000 voters were registered to vote, turnout was low. A total of 10 political parties took part in the National Assembly elections.

Gambia's more than 1.8 million people were ruled for 22 years by Mr Jammeh, whose refusal to leave power brought regional countries to the brink of a military intervention.

His flight into exile in January was a dramatic moment for many in Africa, where a number of leaders have clung to power for decades.


Press Association

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