After 22 years in office, Gambia’s president loses elections

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Gambia president

Gambia president Yahya Jammeh 

Gambian President Yahya Jammeh has conceded defeat to the opposition, the chairman of the electoral commission said Friday, bringing a dramatic end to his 22 years in power.

 

“It’s really unique that someone who has been ruling this country for so long has accepted defeat,” Alieu Momar Njie told reporters ahead of the results of Thursday’s presidential election.

 

Jammeh, who once said he would govern for a billion years if God willed it, was attempting to win a fifth term with his Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC).

 

Gambian state television told AFP that Jammeh would make a statement later in the day to congratulate opposition leader Adama Barrow, 51.

 

Barrow, a previously unknown businessman, was chosen as the opposition flag bearer by a group of political parties who have joined forces for the first time and won unprecedented popular support.

 

If the concession is confirmed, Barrow will likely decide to serve a three-year term at the head of a transition reform government in the tiny former British colony with pristine beaches that occupies a narrow sliver of land surrounded by French-speaking Senegal.

 

Banjul success

 

Jammeh campaign manager Yankuba Colley said he was not aware of the electoral commission chairman’s statement but said he believed the president would step down if the Gambian people wanted it.

 

“When the Gambians make their verdict, he is someone who is faithful,” he told AFP.

 

“It is a difficult result but the man I know will accept whatever comes.”

 

Barrow’s camp confirmed the Independent Electoral Commission statement.

 

Thursday’s election was marked by an Internet blackout that sparked condemnation from rights groups and the United States.

 

But early results on Friday were positive for Barrow as he took the capital Banjul — a traditional Jammeh stronghold.

 

Barrow won nearly 50 per cent of the vote in Banjul’s three constituencies, according to the IEC, compared to 43 per cent for Jammeh.

 

READ: Little known businessman takes Banjul in Gambia presidential poll

 

Security forces had deployed heavily in Banjul earlier Friday amid nervousness over whether Jammeh would accept a ballot box defeat.

 

Before dawn broke, military and police, some covering their faces, set up checkpoints every few hundred metres on the outskirts of the capital, while citizens were inside sleeping or watching the results come in.

 

“Power belongs to the people. You cannot stop us and you cannot stop them,” Barrow said at his final rally this week.

 

Jammeh meanwhile had predicted the biggest landslide of his political career.

11 Responses to After 22 years in office, Gambia’s president loses elections

  1. With a truly independent electoral commission its possible for the incumbent to lose an election.even in zambia,its possible for the incumbent to lose an election.as we head to 2021 lets remove corrupt PF cadres like chulu & Isaacs,replace them with some people that have integrity & interest of Zambia at heart.

    Nzoo
    December 3, 2016 at 7:41 am
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  2. We can also do it in Zambia if only we reform the electoral Cockroaches of the Zoo and the cockroach courts.

    Kapandula
    December 3, 2016 at 8:48 am
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  3. From Brexit to Trump shocking Election Win to Jammeh Election loss in Gambia and the Announcement that after 37 years in power Doa Santos will finally retire in 2017. The Pressure on Edward’s mentors is huge. Mu7,Mugabe,Nguema etc are the next.The winds of change are blowing across all Continents. We hope Edward has taken note of the Election Results in Gambia.The Petition needs to be heard so that the Nation can move on.The Tide of change is hovering on Zambia and Edward needs to manage and lead the Change. The writing is on the Wall!!

    Brown
    December 3, 2016 at 11:26 am
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  4. What Jammeh has done is commendable especially after 22 years of misrule. This is what Edward should have done in August 2016. Instead after realising that he had lost the Election he chose to cling on to power illegally by rigging the vote in his favour. Edward connived with ECZ to steal the Election Victory from HH. Edward thought after stealing the vote it was just a matter of being sworn in and that is the end of the Story. Well he was wrong becoz the Petetion is alive and is a thorn in his flesh. The Petition has refused to go away and it wont go away until it is disposed off. Edward needs to change tactics. Rather than confrontation Edward needs to extend an olive branch to the Opposition and then unite Zambians who are split right in the middle becoz of the disputed Presidential Elections. Edward needs to show leadership and resolve the Petetion amicably. Without this Edward will find it difficult to govern this country and the International Community will not help him and therefore Edward will remain illegitimate. No financier will come to help Edward until Legitimacy is restored to Zambia’s Presidency. The sooner Edward realises this the better for him and the country. The writing is on the Wall!!.

    Temba
    December 3, 2016 at 3:42 pm
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  5. The Gambian Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) is Indeed Independent. The Zambian Electoral Commission (ECZ) is a department in the PF Party.In fact ECZ should be renamed the Electoral Fraud Commission of Zambia (EFCZ). Justice Essau Chulu and Pricila Isaac were rewarded for stealing the 2016 Zambian Elections for Edward and PF.They were given free Air Tickets and Allowances to go on holiday to the USA under the guise of observing American Elections. Thank God the IEC of Gambia turned any offer of assistance from Chulu and Ms Isaac or else Gambian Elections would have been rigged. ECZ should be made to account on how they mismanaged the Election Processes.Chulu and Ms Isaac should be made to pay for having committed crimes against humanity.

    Boma
    December 3, 2016 at 7:10 pm
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  6. Only Zambia is still embracing mediocre leaders, even the Congolese are slowly getting tired of kabila. I just love the Donald Trump effect on these mediocre presidents.

    Dundumwezi
    December 4, 2016 at 4:25 am
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  7. Jammeh was not just a dictator but a witch doctor, you have to be brave to stand against a wizard.

    Dundumwezi
    December 4, 2016 at 4:29 am
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  8. In a few days time Lungu’s hypocrisy will be revealed when he sends a congratulatory message to the President Elect, Adama Barrow.He is obviously embarrassed with the shock defeat of Jemmeh. If Lungu had his way he would have sent Justice Essau Chulu and Priscilla Isaac to go and rig the Elections for Jemmeh for a fee of course.Jammeh should have done Lungu a favour by refusing to concede defeat and handing over power to the Opposition Leader. Lungu has no sense of shame and can steal elections during broadlight and not be bothered. The man is dangerous and has no conscience.Period.

    Zulu
    December 4, 2016 at 7:36 am
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  9. ba upnd did you know what he did for him to be in power for 22 years?as pf will rule for 30 years.

    kajob
    December 4, 2016 at 8:51 pm
    Reply

  10. ni dununa reverse we are putting every thing in order so that we can dununa you again in 2021.kkkkkkkkkk

    kajob
    December 4, 2016 at 8:54 pm
    Reply

  11. One day Zambia will emulate Gambia

    Ech Ech
    December 5, 2016 at 1:10 am
    Reply

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