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Adama Barrow re-elected as Gambian president

News Desk || risingbd.com

Published: 09:39, 6 December 2021  
Adama Barrow re-elected as Gambian president

The Gambia’s President Adama Barrow has easily won re-election, authorities there said, in the first vote for decades held without long-term leader Yahya Jammeh.

President Barrow received around 53% of Saturday's vote, with nearest rival - a lawyer, Ousainou Darboe - on 28%.

Mr Darboe and other candidates earlier said they could not accept the results of the poll.

The vote is being seen as a test for democracy in the country.

In the last election, Mr Barrow defeated Yahya Jammeh, who now lives in exile after refusing to accept the result.

Mr Jammeh's 22-year rule was marked by allegations of abuse, with witnesses recently telling a truth commission about state-backed execution squads and Aids patients being forced to take bogus cures.

Despite his exile, Mr Jammeh remains an influential figure, addressing supporters remotely during campaigning and urging them not to vote for Mr Barrow.

Adama Barrow is a successful property developer who once worked as a security guard in London. He sprung a major surprise in defeating Mr Jammeh during the last vote in 2017.

As news emerged of Mr Barrow's win, his supporters started celebrating in the streets, while supporters of his closest rival, Mr Darboe, gathered at his house.

Addressing supporters during a victory speech in the capital Banjul, Mr Barrow called for unity between the country's political factions.

"I call on all Gambians, irrespective of your political divide, to put aside our political and other differences and come together as one people to work towards the development of our country," he said.

Mr Darboe and two other candidates - Mama Kandeh and Essa Mbye Faal - issued a joint statement before the final result was declared, questioning the figures.

They said they were concerned at delays and that their party agents had raised a number of issues.

A unique voting system involving marbles is used for voting since the rate of illiteracy is high in Gambia.

According to the system, when a voter arrives at a polling station, it requires them to first have their ID checked. Next, they are led to a set of drums painted in the party colours of the different candidates. Then, the marbles are placed into the drum of the voter's choice._BBC