2, December 2016
Yahya Jammeh, The Gambia’s authoritarian president of 22 years, has suffered a surprise defeat in the country’s general election. He will be replaced by a property developer, Adama Barrow, who won more than 45% of the vote.
Mr Jammeh, who came to power in a coup in 1994, has conceded, said electoral commission chief Alieu Momar Njie. Before announcing the final result, Mr Njie appealed for calm as the country entered unchartered waters.
The Gambia has not had a smooth transfer of power since independence in 1965. Mr Barrow won 263,515 votes (45.5%) in Thursday’s election, while President Jammeh took 212,099 (36.7%), according to the electoral commission.
Mr Barrow, who runs his own property company, reportedly used to work as a security guard at an Argos catalogue store on London’s Holloway Road. On the electoral campaign, he promised to revive the country’s economy, which has forced thousands of Gambians to make the perilous journey to Europe.