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Authoritarian Gambian President Yayha Jammeh Defeated

The Gambia’s authoritarian president of 22 years, Yayha Jammeh, has surpriselying been defeated in the country’s presidential elections. Mr Jammeh, who came to power in a coup in 1994, has not yet spoken publicly.

Adama Barrow, a property developer, won more than 45% of the vote hence will replace the incumbent Yahya Jammeh. After his win, Mr Barrow hailed a “new Gambia”. Mr Barrow won 263,515 votes (45.5%) in Thursday’s election, while President Jammeh took 212,099 (36.7%), according to the electoral commission. A third party candidate, Mama Kandeh, won 102,969 (17.8%).

The West African state has not had a smooth transfer of power since independence from Britain in 1965. Electoral commission chief Alieu Momar Njie appealed for calm as the country entered uncharted waters.

“I am very, very, very happy. I’m excited that we won this election and from now hope starts,” Mr Barrow told the BBC’s Umaru Fofana, adding that he was disappointed not to have won by a larger margin.

 

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