Ally of Ex-Gambian Dictator Emerges as Parliamentary Speaker

Ally of Ex-Gambian Dictator Emerges as Parliamentary Speaker (News Central TV)

Following President Adama Barrow’s nomination, a supporter of ex-Gambian dictator Yahya Jammeh was sworn in as parliamentary speaker.

Fabakary Tombong Jatta, in his inaugural speech, asked for parliament to be the personification of nation-building and a light of hope.

His appointment as speaker came after Barrow reached a deal with Jammeh’s Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC).

Mr Jammeh fled into exile in January 2017 after being defeated by Barrow in elections. Barrow won a second term last year after announcing a pact with the APRC.

In last week’s parliamentary elections, his National People’s Party gained the most seats.

According to reports, the president of Gambia can allocate five parliamentary seats to unelected MPs, as well as nominate the chamber’s speaker.

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Mr. Jatta, the APRC’s leader, expressed his “particular thanks” to President Obama for nominating him.

“I express my special gratitude to the president for the trust he bestowed on him by nominating me as member of the national assembly,” Jatta said on Thursday.

Recall that the party of Gambian President Adama Barrow secured a slim victory in legislative elections on Sunday, but fell short of the required majority to govern the West African country alone.

According to results released by The Gambia’s independent electoral commission, Barrow’s National People’s Party won 19 of the 53 parliamentary seats up for grabs, upsetting the main opposition United Democratic Party’s majority.

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Barrow secured a second term in office after defeating Ousainou Darboe with 53 percent of the vote in last year’s presidential election, the country’s first open handover of power since Yahya Jammeh’s dictatorship.

The Gambia is a small West African country, bounded by Senegal, with a narrow Atlantic coastline. It’s known for its diverse ecosystems around the central Gambia River. Abundant wildlife in its Kiang West National Park and Bao Bolong Wetland Reserve includes monkeys, leopards, hippos, hyenas and rare birds. The capital, Banjul, and nearby Serrekunda offer access to beaches.

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