December 06, (THEWILL) – Gambia’s Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has declared President Adama Barrow the winner of Saturday’s presidential poll.
Barrow, who won about 53% of the votes, defeated his main contender, Ousainou Darboe of the United Democratic Party (UDP), who received 28% of votes cast.
The IEC chairman, Alieu Mommar Njie, announced the results and prayed for peace to prevail in the nation of 2.4 million people.
“I hereby declare Adama Barrow duly elected to serve as President of the Republic of The Gambia,” he said, after indicating that the National Peoples Party (NPP) polled 457,519 votes.
UDP’s Darboe was credited with 238,233 votes, and Mama Kandeh of the Gambia Moral Congress party came in third with 105,902 votes, according to results announced by the IEC.
Demba Sabally, who represented the NPP at Election House, said the presidential election was transparent and fair. “Gambia is the winner of this election,” he added.
The results, however, have already been contested by four opposition leaders, including Darboe and Kandeh, who on Sunday held a press briefing to challenge the credibility of the vote.
According to a statement from the parties, they weare concerned by an “inordinate delay” in the announcement of results.
Nearly 860,000 Gambians voted on Saturday, a high number that shows a determination for many to exercise their democratic rights in the post-Jammeh era.
Barrow emerged victorious in 2016 as the candidate for an opposition coalition that tested the 22-year rule of Yahya Jammeh.
After initially agreeing to step down, Jammeh resisted, and a six-week crisis saw neighboring West African countries prepare to send in troops to stage a military intervention. Jammeh was forced into exile in Equatorial Guinea in 2017.
Earlier Sunday, Ernest Bai Koroma, head of an election observation mission from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), appealed to all the candidates “to accept the outcome of the election in good faith.
“There will be no winner or loser but only one winner, The Gambian people,” he said in his statement.