Thursday , 17 October 2019

Breaking News: Gambian Dictator President Yahya Jammeh Loses Presidential Election To A Former Security Guard

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The Gambia’s President Yahya Jammeh is about to concede defeat, the electoral commission chairman has told the BBC.

Mr Jammeh, who has been in power for 22 years, faced estate agent Adama Barrow in Thursday’s election.

Electoral commission chief Alieu Momar Njie said it was unprecedented for a Gambian head of state to accept defeat before the final results.

The West African country has not had a smooth transfer of power since independence in 1965.

There has been no official word from Mr Jammeh, who took power in a coup in 1994.

The 51-year-old leader has been trailing Mr Barrow in partial results and was defeated in the capital, Banjul, his stronghold.

A devout Muslim, Mr Jammeh once said he would rule for “one billion years” if “Allah willed it”.

“It’s really unique that someone who has been ruling this country for so long has accepted defeat,” Mr Njie told reporters.


Analysis: BBC World Service Africa editor Mary Harper

Mr Jammeh’s concession has been greeted with astonishment in The Gambia, where most people expected him to win. He has served four terms as president but it now looks as though this unpredictable and ruthless man is to be replaced by an estate agent.

Mr Jammeh’s 22 years in power have brought repression and intolerance to this tiny seaside nation, popular for cheap holidays in the sun.

He has been tough on journalists, the opposition and gay people. He also said he could cure Aids and infertility.


During the campaign, the country’s mostly young population seemed to be yearning for change, said the BBC’s Umaru Fofana in Banjul.

The economic challenges the country faces have forced many to make the perilous journey to Europe, with some drowning on the way, he said.

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