On Saturday, December 4, the people of Gambia will go to the polls to elect their president.
In the election, Gambian President Adama Barrow will face five challengers in the first voting exercise since the exiled former leader Yahya Jammeh fled the country after refusing to accept defeat five years ago.
Last month, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), the country’s electoral umpire, announced that 15 presidential candidates were rejected while another six others, including Mr Barrow, were approved to contest.
The candidates ended their campaigns on Thursday ahead of the elections.
Gambian President, Adama Barrow who is running for a second term in office has warned against complacency and called on Gambians to participate in the elections vote en masse on Saturday to guarantee a victory.
Apart from the incumbent president Adama Barrow from the National People’s Party (NPP), other candidates in Saturday’s election are Ousainou Darboe from the United Democratic Party (UDP), Mama Kandeh from the Gambia Democratic Congress, and Halifa Sallah from the People’s Democratic Organisation for Independence and Socialism (PDOIS).
Others are Essa Mbaye Faal, an Independent, and Abdoulie Ebrima Jammeh of the National Unity Party (NUP).
The electoral contest is expected to be peaceful, according to polls and media reports, although there are concerns about the image of the ousted president Yahya Jammeh looming large over the elections.
Saturday’s election will be the first one since Jammeh was forced to leave the country for not recognizing his defeat in the electoral process in 2016.
Jammeh seized power in 1994 in a bloodless coup, and was later voted out of office in 2016 after opposition parties created a coalition with Barrow as the main candidate.
After initially agreeing to step down, Jammeh resisted and a six-week crisis saw neighbouring West African countries prepare to send in troops to stage a military intervention.
Jammeh was forced into exile and fled to Equatorial Guinea.
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