Gambian opposition reject election results as President Barrow closes victory – .

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Gambian opposition reject election results as President Barrow closes victory – .


BANJUL, December 5 (Reuters) – Three opposition candidates rejected the partial election results in Gambia which show President Adama Barrow heading for a resounding victory, citing an unusual delay in the vote count.

Barrow had won around 54% of the vote in 50 of the 53 constituencies, leaving the West African nation of 2.5 million on the brink of securing a result that should draw a line over a difficult political past.

Saturday’s vote was the first in 27 years without disgraced former President Yahya Jammeh, who lives in exile in Equatorial Guinea after refusing to accept defeat to Barrow in 2016.

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Jammeh, whose 22-year reign was characterized by killings and torture of political opponents, had tried to persuade his supporters to vote for an opposition coalition in telephone speeches that were relayed at campaign rallies. Read more

Official results suggest he failed to shake Barrow’s supporters, and representatives of all opposition parties signed the tally sheets already read to the election commission on Sunday.

But on Sunday evening, Barrow’s closest rival, veteran politician Ousainou Darboe, and two other candidates, Mama Kandeh and Essa Mbye Faal, said they would not accept the results.

“We are concerned that there has been an unreasonable delay in announcing the results,” their statement said. “A number of issues were raised by our party agents and representatives at the polling stations. “

The election was seen as a test of The Gambia’s democratic progress and its ability to emerge from the Jammeh era.

Barrow’s first term was marked by the coronavirus pandemic, which damaged an economy heavily dependent on tourism, as well as peanut and fish exports. Read more

Banjul was calm Sunday evening, despite a strong police presence, especially at the headquarters of the electoral commission, where water cannons had been installed.

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Writing by Edward McAllister; Editing by Frances Kerry and Alex Richardson

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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