Gambia president's party takes majority in new parliament

Gambia president's party takes majority in new parliament

Gambia president's party takes majority in new parliament

About 886,000 registered voters cast their votes on Thursday, according to Njai, disappointed by the lower than 42 percent turnout.

BANJUL, Gambia (AP) — Gambia's electoral commission chair says the party of new President Adama Barrow has won a majority of seats in parliament. "It's increased our confidence and I think in the near future it will be very easy for us to form a government", Dibba said.

"(I) hereby declare the final results as follows: "UDP won 31 seats; APRC (Jammeh's party) won five seats", IEC chairman Alieu Momar Njie declared at the commission headquarters.

The eight opposition parties that backed Barrow as a coalition are now running as separate parties against the representatives of Jammeh's former ruling party and the one opposition party that didn't join the coalition, the Gambia Democratic Congress.

The full results are expected by today afternoon.

The Gambia's longtime opposition won an absolute majority in parliamentary elections, easily defeating the party of ousted leader Yahya Jammeh, results announced Friday showed.

If candidates from his independent party are elected, he said, "we are going to make sure the Executive does what it is supposed to do".

The election was monitored by Jammeh's APRC party who only won 5 seats.

Gambia's National Assembly used to have a total of 53 members, including 5 appointed by the president.

Alagie Bubacar Jallow, an unemployed hotel worker voting in Bakau, just outside the capital, said his town had always been ignored by the Jammeh regime because it was seen as an opposition stronghold.

"We need things to be done in Bakau", he told AFP. "He can try and fight for the needs of the town".

The results will be crucial for new President Adama Barrow, who will need his party to gain a majority in parliament in order to implement numerous policies he promised during his campaign.

Barrow was declared the victor of the December 1 presidential election. The soldiers will remain in the tiny west African nation until Barrow is satisfied that reforms of the security service have removed rogue elements.

"Given Jammeh's stranglehold over Gambian politics for the past 22 years, the country's opposition parties are inexperienced to the democratic process and relatively weak institutionally", said Joseph Siegle, director of research at the US-based Africa Center for Strategic Studies.

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