Historic Gambia election: Yahya Jammeh loses the race, PM Adama Barrow is declared the winner

The first official vote count in Gambia’s presidential election late Tuesday night revealed that incumbent President Yahya Jammeh lost the election and left the election. Prime Minister Adama Barrow was declared the winner of…

Historic Gambia election: Yahya Jammeh loses the race, PM Adama Barrow is declared the winner

The first official vote count in Gambia’s presidential election late Tuesday night revealed that incumbent President Yahya Jammeh lost the election and left the election.

Prime Minister Adama Barrow was declared the winner of the first post-Jammeh election.

Many Gambians greeted news of the election result with celebration, chanting “change!” and honking horns.

A ban on posting about the election on social media was lifted on Tuesday night, a result of a deal between the United States and Senegal to allow a transition to a peaceful transfer of power, despite differences over whether Mr. Jammeh should vacate the presidency first.

The official vote count was only expected to be announced on Wednesday.

Hama Amadou, Gambia’s ambassador to the United Nations and a close adviser to Jammeh, told AP that Mr. Barrow, a businessman who served as Barrow’s finance minister, should accept defeat.

“As I said, people should give peace a chance, there is no reason to believe that Adama will impose a vice president on the country,” Amadou said on Tuesday.

Jammeh had ruled the country for 22 years, until he accepted defeat to Barrow in January.

However, the two have disagreed in the months that followed.

Jammeh, who last month said he would not stand for another term, made various declarations to avoid his unexpected loss being recognized.

Barrow, an ethnic Barrow, had repeatedly told reporters in the capital Banjul that Jammeh had to go after the election, but he did not insist on the terms he set out after meeting the rival in London and returning home.

In a speech last week, Barrow said that Jammeh must leave power within 15 days of the results, but he did not insist on the whole 15 days and was more likely to say that Jammeh should vacate within 30 days.

In an open letter sent to Gambians on Monday, Jammeh responded.

“I am free to stay in my home,” Jammeh wrote. “I urge you to give peace a chance.”

Jammeh said Barrow had threatened violence and threatened to assassinate him.

However, the transfer of power to Barrow will not take place until Jammeh gives up power.

Jammeh has governed the tiny West African nation along with the backing of its neighbors, most of which have troops deployed in the country and consider him a threat to their security.

Jammeh has ruled since seizing power in a coup in 1994, ousting long-time President and military chief Yahya Jammeh.

Jammeh’s presidency will end not just as the first democratically elected one to exit at age 71, but also as the first Jammeh presidency to fail to produce a single liberation war hero, one of the former president’s main achievements in Africa.

Jammeh staged a number of repressions in the run-up to the election.

Hundreds of Gambians were arrested at the beginning of the campaign, charged with defamation and subjected to abuse, according to Human Rights Watch.

Jammeh’s government banned any political gatherings, leaving the landlocked country with no semblance of a political opposition.

The APD-CBN contributed to this report.

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