Gambia’s Jammeh loses to Adama Barrow in shock election result

Chidi Samuel with agency reports

Yahya Jammeh, The Gambia’s authoritarian president of 22 years, has joined the list of sitting Presients to loose elections in Africa. Jammeh suffered a surprise defeat in the country’s just concluded general election. He lost Adama Barrow, a property developer and opposition candidate who garnered more than 45% of the vote.

 Alieu Momar Njie, the electoral commission chief, informed a surprised citizenry that the incumbent, Yahya Jammeh has already conceded defeat before announcing the final result and urged for calm as the country, according to him is entering unchartered waters.

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%).

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“There will be celebrations, there will be disappointment, but we all know we are all Gambia,” Mr Njie said, after announcing the results on Friday.

The Gambia has not had a smooth transfer of power since independence in 1965.

Profile of Adama Barrow

He is leading an opposition coalition of seven parties – the largest opposition alliance since independence, according to the AFP news agency.

  • Born in 1965 in small village near the eastern market town of Basse
  • Moved to London in the 2000s, reportedly working as a security guard at Argos department store while studying
  • Returned to The Gambia in 2006 to set up his own property company
  • Won the presidential nomination in 2016 to lead coalition of seven opposition parties
  • Has criticised the lack of a two-term limit on the presidency
  • Has said he would introduce a three-year transitional government made up from members of the opposition coalition
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