The outgoing president and head of the government of Gambia, Adam Barrow, has become the official winner of Saturday’s presidential elections, the election commission announced. He obtained over 53 percent of the vote, and his main rival, Ousainou Darboe, 27.7 percent.
Competitors of Adama Barrow, who took power five years ago after more than 20 years of Yahya Jammeh’s dictatorial rule, announced that they would contest the election results even before their announcement.
Saturday’s presidential election in Africa’s smallest country was the second most recent election since the dictator’s overthrow in 2016. His rule was marked by brutal persecution of the opposition, killings, kidnappings and torture. Jammeh was forced to leave the country.
The opposition contests the results
According to the AFP, the defeated counter-candidates, including Ousainou Darboe, leader of the United Democratic Party (UDP), reserved “all methods of action” according to official results. Darboe announced that he would investigate the vote counting process and urged the Gambians to “stay calm” until it was completed.
Barrow’s supporters began celebrating his victory on the streets of the country’s capital – Banjul.
Barrow announced a health insurance system and the restoration of civil liberties
During the presidential campaign, Barrow, a 56-year-old former security officer and developer, tried to win over voters by announcing the introduction of a health insurance system. He also promised to restore civil liberties, build roads and organize relations with the international community.
Darboe, 73, whose party has held a majority in parliament since 2017, has announced that he will seek reconciliation in the society that was at odds by Barrow and that he will seek redress for all who have suffered under the incumbent president.
Barrow had belonged to the UDP in the past, but left the party after being sworn in as president to emphasize his impartiality. The coalition that had elevated him to the top of power broke up weeks after Jammeh was defeated.
Main photo source: PAP / EPA / YUSUPHA SAMA