Half of Gambia votes today
A general election will be held in Gambia today but only in 23 of the 48 constituencies.
Following a series of arguments with the Independent Electoral Commission eight of the ten registered political parties will be boycotting the election. This means that contests will take place in 23 of the 48 seats that were up for election in the National Assembly. The ruling Alliance for Patriotic Re-Orientation and Construction (APRC) has put up candidates in all 48 seats and 25 of their candidates will be returned unopposed.
Only one opposition party, the National Reconciliation Party (NRP) is putting up candidates in eight constituencies. The remaining 18 candidates contesting the election are all Independents with little chance of winning against the APRC.
This means that only 510 of the 1302 polling stations will be opened and 308,489 of the 796,929 registered voters will have a chance to vote in a contested seat. Polling stations will be open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. local time.
In the 2007 election the APRC won 42 of the 48 seats with the United Democratic Party (UDP) winning four seats, the National Alliance for Democracy and Development (NADD) winning one seat and an Independent picking up one seat.
The eight political parties boycotting the election are the National Alliance for Democracy and Development (NADD), United Democratic Party (UDP), National Convention Party (NCP), National Democratic Action Movement (N DAM), People’s Democratic Organisation for Independence and Socialism (PDOIS), People’s Progressive Party (PPP), Gambia Party for Democracy and Development (GPDP) and Gambia Moral Congress (GMC).
The president will appoint a further five members to the National Assembly after the election.