Gambians had been ready Sunday to discover the winner of the first presidential election within the West African nation since veteran dictator Yahya Jammeh fled into exile.
Outcomes from handiest spherical 15 of the nation’s 53 electoral districts possess to this level been printed on-line by the convey broadcaster since polls closed at 1700 GMT Saturday.
Talking on condition of anonymity, an electoral price unswerving rapid AFP that results would possibly possibly well possibly be printed district-by-district, with the cost announcing the winner at the tip.
He expected that the count would possibly possibly well possibly be executed on Sunday and the presented by the cost’s president.
The election is being carefully watched as a check of the democratic transition in The Gambia, where Jammeh ruled for 22 years after seizing energy in a chilly coup in 1994.
The ex-autocrat turned into compelled into exile in Equatorial Guinea in January 2017 after Adama Barrow, then a relative unknown defeated him at the pollfield.
Barrow, 56, confronted 5 challengers in his re-election repeat.
Just a few things possess slowed the tally, including The Gambia’s scarce monetary sources, high turnout, and the nation’s irregular balloting system.
Illiteracy is neatly-liked in The Gambia, so voters solid their pollby dropping a marble into a bathe marked with their candidate’s coloration and characterize — a discover relationship reduction to the nation’s previous as a British colony.
– Check of democracy –
A model of the roughly a million eligible voters within the nation of larger than two million of us are hoping for an enchancment in their living standards.
The Gambia, a sliver of land about 480 kilometres (300 miles) long, which is surrounded by Senegal, is with out doubt one of the poorest worldwide locations on the earth.
About half of the population live to sing the tale lower than $1.90 per day, the World Bank says.
The tourism-dependent economy turned into additionally dealt a excessive blow by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Barrow is running on a continuity worth, pointing to infrastructure tasks executed under his eye, as successfully as increased civil liberties.
Political historical Ousainou Darboe is believed to be by observers to be the main opposition candidate.
The 73-year-historical is a authorized expert who has represented opponents of Jammeh, and who ran for president in opposition to the veteran dictator a total lot of cases.
He additionally served as international minister and then vice president under Barrow, earlier than stepping down in 2019.
Global observers will most likely be watching carefully for whether the losing candidates settle for defeat, one senior diplomat stated on condition of anonymity, calling it a “serious 2nd” for Gambian democracy.
Jammeh lost to Barrow within the 2016 election but turned into handiest finally removed by defense power intervention from other west African states.
Barrow himself has already gone reduction on a promise to dwell in energy for handiest three years and has weakened rhetoric about prosecutions for crimes dedicated under Jammeh.
– Jammeh legacy –
Questions over Jammeh’s continuing role in politics, and his most likely return from exile, had been central issues within the bustle-up to the election.
In September, Barrow’s NPP party presented a pact with Jammeh’s APRC — a controversial switch that turned into viewed as an electoral ploy.
Jammeh stated the resolution had been taken with out his knowledge, and his supporters possess fashioned a rival party. However rights groups dread the pact will diminish potentialities of a trial.
The 56-year-historical veteran dictator retains major political enhance in The Gambia and has sought to affect the vote, remotely addressing rallies of supporters all around the campaign duration.
After coming to location of business, Barrow location up a truth price to probe alleged abuses under Jammeh’s rule.
Sooner than hearings resulted in Could well well, it heard testimony from heaps of of witnesses about convey-sanctioned dying squads, witch hunts, and forcing bogus cures on AIDS patients.
The associated price rapid in November the govt.pursue prison charges, in a final document dropped at Barrow but no longer released to the public.
The names of the officers in opposition to whom charges had been rapid had been additionally no longer released.
However rights groups stated “there isn’t any question that Yahya Jammeh turned into at the tip of that list”.