President Adama Barrow of Gambia won re-election with ease, according to authorities, in the country’s first election in decades without long-time autocrat Yahya Jammeh.
President Barrow garnered roughly 53% of the vote on Saturday, with Ousainou Darboe, a lawyer, coming in second with 28%.
Mr Darboe and other candidates have already stated that they could not accept the poll’s findings.
The election is being viewed as a litmus test for the country’s democracy.
Mr Barrow beat Yahya Jammeh in the last election, and he currently lives in exile after refusing to acknowledge the result.
Witnesses recently told a truth commission about state-backed execution squads and Aids sufferers being compelled to swallow phony remedies under Mr Jammeh’s 22-year dictatorship.
Despite his exile, Mr Jammeh remains a powerful figure, speaking to followers over the phone during the campaign and pushing them to vote against Mr Barrow.
Adama Barrow worked as a security guard in London before becoming a renowned property developer. When he defeated Mr Jammeh in the 2017 election, he produced a tremendous surprise.
As soon as Mr Barrow’s victory was announced, his supporters began rejoicing in the streets, while Mr Darboe’s followers gathered at his home.
Mr Barrow, speaking to fans in the capital Banjul during a victory address, urged for cooperation among the country’s political factions.
“I appeal on all Gambians, regardless of party affiliation, to set aside their differences and work together as one people to further our country’s development,” he stated.
Before the final result was announced, Mr Darboe and two other candidates – Mama Kandeh and Essa Mbye Faal – released a combined statement challenging the data.
They expressed their dissatisfaction with the delays and stated that their party agents had raised a number of concerns.
Due to the high rate of illiteracy in The Gambia, a unique voting procedure employing marbles is implemented.
A voter will be guided to a set of drums painted in the party colors of the various candidates upon arriving at a polling station and after their ID has been validated. The marbles are then inserted into the drum of the voter’s choice.
The Gambia is one of Africa’s smallest countries, with a population of about 2.4 million people. It is also one of the world’s poorest countries. Its economy is primarily reliant on tourism, but the country has been affected by the coronavirus.