SPONSORED BY X365TV.COM: Gambia’s opposition candidate Adama Barrow has won the presidential polls with 263,515 votes, beating the incumbent Yahya Jammeh, with over 50,000 votes.
The country’s electoral commission in announcing the result of the election held Thursday today, said Jammeh scored 212,009 votes
The commission’s chair, Alieu Njie said Mama Kandeh, the third candidate in the running, came third with 102,969 votes.
Barrow, a real estate developer is a surprised winner of the election, ending the 22 year old reign of incumbent Yahya Jammeh.
“What we see in this result is a change of government. The incumbent will call the new president to congratulate and wish him well,” Njie said.
Jammeh has ruled the tiny African country for 22 years with an iron fist and was widely accused of corruption and human rights abuses.
Gambians voted on Thursday amid total blackout of the Internet and all international calls, and with land borders sealed in a poll that posed the first serious challenge to Jammeh since he seized power in a coup in 1994.
Earlier this week, Jammeh said “my presidency and power are in the hands of Allah and only Allah can take it from him.”
Security forces deployed heavily in Banjul since yesterday and counting was slow.
Early results had shown that Yahya Jammeh had lost ground in the capital, his traditional stronghold.
However, opposition leader Barrow scored a symbolic victory in the capital Banjul, highlighting the strong challenge posed to Jammeh, who is standing for a fifth term.
Jammeh, 51 years old shot his way to power 22 years ago. The man who calls himself His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhaji Doctor Yahya Abdul-Azziz Jemus Junkung Jammeh Naasiru Deen seized power in a 1994 coup d’etat.
He was elected President in 1996 and re-elected in controversial polls in 2001, 2006, and 2011.
A deeply devout Muslim, Jammeh grew up in the western village of Kanilai in 1965, the year that The Gambia, a long east-west sliver of land bordered by Senegal, gained independence from Britain.
He joined the army in 1984 — his military title is the only one he has lost.
Ten years later, Jammeh mounted a coup with fellow army officers against Dawda Jawara, who had ruled the country since independence, pledging to root out corruption and hold elections.