Four months after the presidential election, the Gambian parliamentary election saw President Adama Barrow’s party take a sweep at most of the votes.
For the past two decades, former President Yahya Jammeh’s party, the Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction party has held the majority of seats in the parliament, however, the party only managed to snag five seats down from its 48-seat acquisition in the 53-seat parliament.
President Adama Barrow’s party, the United Democratic Party (UDP) won 31 seats while the Mama Kandeh-led Gambia Democratic Congress (GDC) which was not a part of the opposition coalition gained 5 seats, an independent candidate got one seat, while some other parties gained 11 seats, Gambia’s Independent Electoral Commission reported on Friday.
President Adama Barrow will also appoint lawmakers to five more seats.
This victory for Adama Barrow and the UDP means the President will be able to carry out his promises and reforms unhindered by the opposition.
The Gambian parliamentary election voter turnout was, however, low at 42 per cent despite 880,000 registering to vote. 10 political parties ran for the parliamentary election, some of which included individual opposition parties which formed a coalition in 2016 with Adama Barrow as the leader against former President Yahya Jammeh.
The newly elected lawmakers are expected to reform laws put in place by former President Yahya Jammeh who was accused of committing human rights abuses.
Jammeh was accused of torture, extrajudicial killings, arbitrary detentions, as well as other human rights abuse by Human Rights Watch. He was also accused of
He was also accused of land grab and forceful disappearance of opposition. As a result, when President Adama Barrow won the election, it was seen as a new chance for Gambia to wipe the slate clean and begin on a new page.
The foreign Minister of Gambia echoed this sentiment by stating that human right records will be “speedily addressed” by Adama Barrow.