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Faith Nyasuguta 

Gambia’s Adama Barrow has been declared the winner in the 2021 elections in the first vote for decades held without long-term leader Yahya Jammeh.

In the Saturday vote, President Barrow received some 53 per cent with his nearest rival Ousainou Darboe garnering 28 per cent.  

Darboe and other candidates had initially said they could not accept the poll results.The poll has been viewed as a test for democracy in the country.

In the last election, Barrow beat Yahya Jammeh, who was pushed into exile after refusing to accept the result.

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 coerced into taking bogus cures.


Despite being exiled in Equatorial Guinea, Jammeh remains an influential figure, addressing supporters remotely during campaigning and calling on them not to vote for Barrow, even though a faction of his party had agreed a controversial deal to work with the incumbent president.

Barrow is a prosperous property developer that once worked as a security guard in London. During the last elections in 2017, he pulled a major surprise by defeating Jammeh.

With the announcement of Barrow’s win, his supporters began celebrating in the streets, whereas supporters of his closest rival, Darboe, gathered at his house.


As he addressed supporters during a victory speech in the capital Banjul, 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.

Gambia is among Africa’s smallest nations and the 2.4m country is among the poorest in the globe. Its economy heavily depends on tourism but it has been hit by Covid-19.

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Faith Nyasuguta

Gambia’s President Adama Barrow, flanked by his wives, speaks to the media after voting during the presidential election, in Banjul, Gambia, December 4, 2021. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra