Panafrican News Agency

Gambia votes for President in test of country's stability

Banjul, Gambia (PANA) - Voters in The Gambia cast their ballots Saturday in presidential elections likely to test the West African nation’s credentials as one of the continent's most politically stable countries after former President Yahya Jammeh left office and fled the country in 2017.

There are six presidential candidates, including one independent, with Adama Barrow,56, of the National People’s Party (NPP) and former vice-president of United Democratic Party (UDP) forecast as the frontrunners.

The other contestants are Mama Kandeh, Gambia Democratic Congress (GDC), Halifa Sillah, People's Democratic Organization for Independence and Socialism (PDOIS), Abdoulie Ebrima Jammeh, National Unity Party (NUP), and Essa Mbye Faal (Independent Candidate).

The West African nation, with a simple majority of electoral system under the current constitution, places any candidate with the highest number of votes cast as winner of today's election.

President Barrow voted in Banjul with his two wives.

He vowed that he would win but cautioned officials of the Independent Electoral Commission to conduct free and fair, transparent, and credible election.

He encouraged all eligible Gambians to exercise their rights in a peaceful manner to consolidate the democratic gains the country had made since 2016.

“We will never lose this election. It will be the biggest landslide victory in the history of this country. I enjoy unprecedented support in this country. You have been following my campaign and my campaign was very successful,” President Barrow told reporters.

Former Vice President Ousainou Darboe voted in his Fajara constituency 14 km outside Banjul and described the process as simple and very smooth.

He, however, said it was too early to make a clear assessment given some reports of difficulties in other parts of the country.

Essa Mbye Faal, Independent candidate, called on his supporters and Gambians to maintain peace before and after the elections.

He said anyone who won would be given the free hand to lead The Gambia, maintaining that the country belonged to all Gambians.-

-0-PANA MSS/RA 4Dec2021