Gambians Vote In First Presidential Election Since Dictatorship

Gambians vote in first presidential election since dictatorship

Banjul, Gambia, Dec 4 (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 4th Dec, 2021 ) :Gambians began voting on Saturday in the first presidential election in the tiny West African nation since former dictator Yahya Jammeh fled into exile.

The voting will be closely watched as a test of the democratic transition in The Gambia, where Jammeh ruled for 22 years after seizing power in a bloodless coup in 1994.

The ex-autocrat was forced into exile in Equatorial Guinea in January 2017 after Adama Barrow, then a relative unknown, defeated him at the ballot box.

President Barrow, 56, is now running for re-election, and faces five other candidates.

Polls opened at 8 am (0800 GMT), with long lines forming well before dawn in the capital Banjul.

Nearly 500 people lined up around the block at a market in the Banjul neighbourhood of Manjai Kunda, ready for hours of waiting.

Student and part-time waitress Jariatou Touray said she had been waiting to vote since 6 am.

"I'll probably be here until 10 am," the 23-year-old said. "It's very important that the citizens come vote and choose the best person."Babacar Diallo, 48, also lined up early.

"It is a very important to vote because we want change," he said. "The times have been hard, the economy is bad."