Gambians vote for a President today


A total of 886,578 eligible Gambian voters go to the polls today to elect a president. Incumbent President Yahya Jammeh is expecting to win a fifth term in office, having first been elected in 1996 (but ruled since July 1994 following a coup d’etat). There are 1,422 polling stations open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. local time at which voters place coloured marbles into ballot drums.

In 2011 Jammeh won with 71.54% of the vote against two other candidates on a turnout of 83%.

There are three candidates standing in this election;

Yahya Jammeh for the ruling Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Reconstruction (APRC)

Adama Barrow, the former leader of the United Democratic Party (UDP), who is standing for an alliance of parties called the Independent Coalition which includes the Democratic Organisation for Independence and Socialism (PDOIS), the National Reconciliation Party (NRP), the Gambia Moral Congress (GMC), the National Convention Party (NCP), the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) the Gambia Party for Democracy and Progress (GPDP).

Mamma Kandeh of the Gambia Democratic Congress.

A number of international agencies have questioned the fairness of the campaign with Human Rights Watch saying “The Jammeh government has threatened, beaten, and tortured opposition party members for exercising their basic rights, all but extinguishing hopes for a fair election.” Nevertheless the combined opposition see this as their best chance to topple the incumbent president.

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