Gambians Vote in First Post-Jammeh Elections

Gambians vote by dropping a marble into a drumGambians vote by dropping a marble into a drum

Gambians have voted for members of their one-chamber parliament in the first polls since Yahya Jammeh left power after more than 22 years.

Under Jammeh, the National Assembly was frequently ignored, as the president enacted executive decrees without consultation, BBC reported.

Expectations are high that under the new president, Adama Barrow, the parliament will play a key part in lawmaking.

Barrow has pledged to carry out political, security and media reforms.

As part of his proposed reform, he is setting up a truth and reconciliation commission to investigate abuses committed under Jammeh’s rule.

Reports say voter turnout has been relatively low.

“Jammeh was a determining factor, which encouraged some people to vote and now that he is gone they are not really motivated,” Pierre Gomez from Banjul University told the BBC.

Some of the candidates were also not well known to voters, he added.

Jammeh sparked a political and constitutional crisis by refusing to leave office following his defeat in the December 2016 presidential election.

The National Assembly is made up of 53 MPs who serve for a five-year term. In the past, 48 were elected by voters while five were appointed by the president.

This time, the Independent Electoral Commission has declared that all 53 constituencies will be contested and it has published a list of the 239 candidates contesting seats.


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