Gambia’s Yahya Jammeh Defeated at the Polls

  • The President of The Gambia, Yahya Jammeh, has lost the country’s presidential election to leading opposition candidate, Adama Barrow.

Mr. Barrow scored 263,515 votes to defeat Mr. Jammeh who scored 212,099 votes, the electoral commission chief said.
The Gambia’s minister of external affairs and the head of the police addressed the country and called for calm, the BBC reports.

Mr. Jammeh has ruled The Gambia for 22 years after taking power in a coup. The controversial ruler of the small West African country is expected to concede defeat.

President Jammeh joined the Gambian National Army in 1984, was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in 1989, and in August 1992 became commanding officer of the Military Police of Yundum Barracks. He received extensive military training in neighboring Senegal,  and military-police training at Fort McClellan, Alabama.

On 22 July 1994, Lt. Yahya Jammeh with a group of young officers in the Gambian National Army seized power from President Sir Dawda Jawara in a military coup by taking control of key facilities in the capital city, Banjul. The coup took place without bloodshed and met with very little resistance.  The group identified itself as the Armed Forces Provisional Ruling Council (AFPRC), with the 29-year-old Jammeh as its chairman.

The AFPRC then suspended the constitution, sealed the borders, and implemented a curfew. While Jammeh’s new government justified the coup by decrying corruption and lack of democracy under the Jawara regime, army personnel had also been dissatisfied with their salaries, living conditions, and prospects for promotion.

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