Gambia vote to consolidate democracy as president eyes boost – Latest News – The Nation

Banjul, Gambia – Gambians vote for lawmakers on Saturday in legislative elections that are meant to consolidate a tender democracy and would possibly see President Adama Barrow fortify his energy after successful re-election remaining yr.
Electorate within the tiny and impoverished West African state will renew the unicameral Nationwide Meeting’s 58 seats for a five-year time period.
The single-round vote will make a choice 53 lawmakers, whilst Barrow — serving a 2nd five-year time period after remaining December’s electoral victory — will identify the 5 others, together with the parliament’s president.
Polling stations are due to open at 8:00 am (0800 GMT) and shut at 5:00 pm. A monotonous month of campaigning concluded on Thursday night time and effects are anticipated on Sunday.
Balloting for a brand new charter — noticed as crucial via The Gambia’s world companions to fortify its democracy and prohibit the president’s powers — might be a key job for the brand new legislature.
Barrow’s sudden victory in opposition to now-exiled dictator Yahya Jammeh in nation’s 2016 presidential vote ended a 20-year regime marred via state atrocities, from assassinations and compelled disappearances to rape and torture. He promised to introduce constitutional exchange via the top of his time period, however in September 2020 the outgoing parliament rejected a draft charter proscribing the president to two phrases.
Barrow’s supporters adversarial the retroactive nature of the availability, which might have avoided the top of state from working once more in 2026.
The president’s Nationwide Folks’s Birthday party, created in 2020 after the break-up of the coalition that introduced Barrow to energy, is pushing for a parliamentary majority. The United Democratic Birthday party, the opposition formation which dominates the present chamber, is led via Ousainou Darboe, an unsuccessful challenger to Barrow in remaining December’s presidential election.
The opposition and a civil society reputable have accused Barrow of illegally supporting his celebration’s applicants via the usage of state assets throughout a countrywide marketing campaign excursion.
The excursion used to be formally aimed toward sounding out the general public’s wishes.
An English-speaking enclave of 2 million folks surrounded via Senegal this is continental Africa’s smallest nation, The Gambia is likely one of the international’s 20 least evolved states, in accordance to the United Countries. The nation’s distinctive vote casting machine sees electorate position a marble into a brief pipe that feeds right into a canister bearing the colors and an image of every candidate — one way presented due to a top illiteracy charge.

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