THE GAMBIA PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS-GAMBIA DECIDES 2021

Saturday,December 4,2021: Gambians Vote in the First Presidential Election in 25 Years without former Military Strongman Yahya Jammeh who was forced to Yield Power on January 2017 after losing to the Incumbent President Adama Barrow in the December 2016 Election.Lt.Yahya Jammeh had ruled the West African Nation for 22 Years from July 1994 when he took Power after leading a Bloodless Military Coup to Overthrow Gambia’s First President Dawda Jawara to January 2017 when he was forced out in an ECOWAS Intervention after his Attempt to Cling on to Power even after losing and conceding the December 2016 Election.

Despite being Exiled in Equatorial Guinea;Yahya Jammeh is still an Influential Figure in Gambian Politics To-date. On September 5,2021;APRC-the Party of former Ruler Yahya Jammeh announced an Alliance with the Ruling NPP Party to Support President Adama Barrow’s Bid for Re-election.The Move now casts Doubt on President Adama Barrow’s Government Willingness and Likelihood to Prosecute the Former Military Ruler and his Accomplices for Economic Crimes,Corruption,Torture,Killings,Rape among other Gross Human Rights Violations during his Jammeh’s 22 Years Rule should he get Re-elected in this Election. On November 25,2021; a 14,000-Page Document prepared by a “Truth,Reconciliation and Reparations Commission”-(TRRC) detailing Crimes Committed by Yahya Jammeh’s Regime was handed to President Adama Barrow.Between 240-250 Gambians Died at the hands of the Jammeh’s State Agents according to the Commission.The Report established that Jammeh,his henchmen and a personal Hit Squad known as the Junglas were responsible for Murder, Torture and Rape.According to immediate former Minister of Justice Mr.Abubacarr Tambadou on March 29,2019;Yahya Jammeh personally Stole at least $362 Million from the State during his 22-Years rule.

December 2021 Election Details;

A Total of 962,157 Gambians have been Registered to Vote in this Election across some 1,554 Polling Stations in Gambia’s 53 Constituencies.A Total of 6 Presidential Candidates have been Cleared to Vie by Gambia’s Electoral Commission-IEC.

The 6 Presidential Candidates are:

1.Incumbent 56-Years old President Adama Barrow with the Ruling National People’s Party-NPP.

2.Ousainou Darboe with the United Democratic Party-UDP.Mr Darboe is a 73-Years old Lawyer who briefly served as Barrow’s Vice-president and was part of the Coalition that defeated Yahya Jammeh;He is Contesting for the 5th time.

3.Essa Mbye Faal (Independent Candidate) – Mr Essa Faal;a 55-Years old Newcomer is a distinguished Lawyer and former Lead Counsel at the recently concluded TRRC Commission.

4.Mama Kandeh with Gambia Democratic Congress-GDC.The 56-Years old came Third in the 2016 Election and is now being backed by exiled Yahya Jammeh.

5.Abdoulie Ebrima Jammeh with the National Unity Party-NUP. Mr. Ebrima MSc;a 49 Years old Former Teacher who once headed Gambia’s Civil Aviation Authority is contesting for the First Time.

6. Halifa Sallah with the People’s Democratic Organisation for Independence and Socialism-PDOIS.The 68 Years old Sociologist is Serekunda’s MP and former Spokesperson and Close Ally to President Barrow.He is contesting for the 5th Time.

The Gambia;Fact-file;

  • The Gambia or Gambia also known as the ‘Smiling Coast’ Africa due to the Friendliness and Hospitality of Gambians is a Country on West Africa’s Coast of Atlantic Home to 2.5 Million People.Named after Iconic Gambia River;Gambia is the Smallest Country on Mainland Africa.
  • With a GDP of $1.9 Billion and a GDP Per Capita of $787;Gambia is still classified among the “Least Developed-Low Income” Countries.
  • In the most recent UNDP Human Development Index;Gambia is ranked at Position 172 out of 189 World Nations and Number 124 out of 163 World Nations on the Social Progress Index.The 2 Indexes take Account of Key Dimensions of Human Development that is;Healthy Life,being Knowledgeable, a Decent Standard of Living-access to basic Human needs,Foundations of Well-being and Opportunities for Progress among many other Indicators of Social Development and Progress.
  • Nearly Half of Gambia’s Population or 48% Still Live in Poverty according to recent Statistics.Life Expectancy currently stands at 63 Years.
  • Agriculture,Tourism and Fishing are the main Economic Activities that support Gambia’s Economy.Groundnuts,Cashew Nuts,Fish and Timber are the Country’s main Export Commodities.
  • Gambia has Spectacular Sandy Beaches like Kotu,Cape Point and Kololi among many other Tourist Attraction Sites like the Kunta Kinteh Island and its Related Sites which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site-a Major Trans-atlantic Slave Trade Route where Slave Trade began and ended upon its Abolition.Gambia has 7 National Parks and Nature Reserves,1 Community Wildlife Reserve,66 Forest Parks and 1 Ramsar Site.Gambia also attracts Birdwatchers with its nearly 600 Species of Birds.
  • Gambia is largely an Islam Nation where Muslims make up to 95% of the Population;On December 2015;Yahya Jammeh declared Gambia an Islamic Republic,a Declaration that was later reversed by his Successor President Adama Barrow.Other Religions like Christianity are still practiced by the Minority.
  • English-inherited from Gambia’s former Colonial Ruler,Britain;is the Country’s Official Language.Local Languages of Madinka,Fula and Wolof are also widely spoken.
  • Gambian Dalasi-GMD is the Country’s Official Currency.
  • Banjul-Gambia’s Capital City,Serekunda,Brikama and Bakau are the main and most populous Cities/Towns in Gambia.
  • Gambia has only One Neighbor-Senegal-which Sorrounds Gambia to the North,East and South.
  • Gambia has a very Unique Voting Process and Materials where Voters use Marbles Not the Usual and Common Ballot Papers used across the World.After the Verification of a Voter’s ID;a Voter gets directed to a series of Drums painted with Party Colours of different Candidates.At the top of each Drum is a Pipe through which a Voter Slots a Marble given by an Electoral Officer.As the Marble drops,a Bell Sounds to signify an Act of Voting.When Polls close,Marbles from each Drum are counted and tallied like it happens with Ballot Papers.This Mode of Voting was introduced after Gambia’s independence on February 1965 in order to facilitate Voting amongst a largely Illiterate Populace back then.The Country has maintained this Mode of Voting despite increasing Literacy Rate in Gambia which is Today at 53%.

DECEMBER 2021 ELECTION RESULTS

Gambia’s President Since January 19,2017;56 Years old Adama Barrow was on December 6,2021 Declared the Winner of December 4,2021 Presidential Election with 457,519 Votes or 53% followed by his Main Challenger and former Vice President Ousainou Darboe of the United Democratic Party-UDP with 238,253 Votes or 28%.Ouisanu Darboe,GDC’s Mama Kandeh and Independent Candidate Essa Faal Rejected the Results citing Election Irregularities and Darboe Filed a Petition to have Barrow’s Victory Annulled.The Petition was dismissed by the Country’s Supreme Court on December 28,2021 over a Procedural Technicality.

On January 19,2022;Adama Barrow was Sworn in for a Second 5 Years Term.In a Ceremony graced by Eight of his Counterparts from West Africa;Presidents Akufo Addo-Ghana,Muhammad Buhari-Nigeria,Maada Bio-Sierra Leone,Cheik Ghazouani-Mauritania,Embalo Sissoco-Guinea-Bissau,Macky Sall-Senegal,George Weah-Liberia and Faure Gnassingbe of Togo and Gambians; #PresidentAdamaBarrow reiterated his Promise for a New Constitution and a State of Justice and Rule of Law.He said the #TRRC Report on Crimes committed by his Authoritarian Predecessor Yahya Jammeh handed to him on November 2021 is being scrutinized and that Action shall be taken Accordingly.The President also promised to continue delivering on his Infrastructure Development Promises,Diversification and Promotion of the Tourism Sector.Upon his Reelection;President Barrow pledged to continue to be a unifying President for all Gambians irrespective of their Differences.He called on all Gambians to Unite and Work for the Progress of the Nation.

(IMAGES COURTESY)

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