#BBC: “Why does Gambia’s first post-Jammeh vote matter?”


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Gambians look ahead to new political period

On Thursday, Gambians will vote for members of their one-chamber parliament. They’re the primary polls since Yahya Jammeh left energy after greater than 22 years as president.

Mr Jammeh sparked a political and constitutional disaster by refusing to go away workplace following his defeat within the December 2016 presidential election.

He lastly headed for exile on 21 January after neighbouring nations threatened to take away him by power.

His successor Adama Barrow, who’s a political novice, has pledged to hold out political, safety and media reforms.

As a part of his proposed reforms, he’s organising a reality and reconciliation fee to research abuses dedicated below Mr Jammeh’s rule.

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President Adama Barrow wants a beneficial majority within the new parliament to hold out his reform pledges

What occurred within the final parliamentary elections?

Mr Jammeh’s then-ruling Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Building (APRC) received 43 out of 53 seats in 2012.

The opposition largely boycotted the polls and one opposition member was elected. 4 impartial candidates additionally received seats.

The president had the ability to pick an additional 5 members, which he did.

What’s the present scenario?

A coalition of seven events that supported President Barrow throughout the presidential election has collapsed.

And the listing of parliamentary candidates reveals events previously within the coalition vying in opposition to one another in numerous constituencies.

President Barrow was once a member of the United Democratic Occasion (UDP), however stop after being chosen because the opposition coalition’s presidential candidate in order to not be seen as favouring one occasion throughout the grouping.

Mr Jammeh’s APRC stays intact, and is collaborating within the election as an opposition occasion for the primary time since he seized energy in a 1994 coup.

What’s the electoral course of?

The Nationwide Meeting is made up of 53 MPs who serve for a five-year time period.

Prior to now, 48 have been elected by voters whereas 5 have been appointed by the president.

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No less than 239 candidates are contesting for 53 parliamentary seats

This time, the Impartial Electoral Fee (IEC) has declared that each one 53 constituencies will likely be contested and it has revealed a listing of the 239 candidates contesting seats.

To qualify a candidate should be no less than 21 years previous however a regulation requiring candidates to pay $10,000 (£eight,000) has not too long ago been repealed.

How is voting carried out?

Any citizen aged 18 years or older and of sound thoughts has the suitable to vote.

The IEC guidelines say voters should be on the electoral register and have a polling card. Additionally, they need to attend the suitable polling station and keep away from turning up drunk.

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Gambians vote by dropping a marble right into a drum.

There are 886,578 registered voters, who will make their selection of candidate by dropping marbles into drums – the strategy The Gambia has lengthy utilized in elections.

That is mentioned to forestall doable a number of voting and presiding officers “listen to the sound of the marble/token hitting the drum”.

Who’re the electoral observers?

Each native and international observers are anticipated.

The European Union has deployed an statement mission, with 20 individuals who will monitor the poll throughout the nation.

The authorities banned the EU from monitoring the final presidential elections. Nonetheless, African Union officers have been allowed.

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SEYLLOU/AFP/Getty Photos

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Gambians lastly ousted President Jammeh after 22 years

What’s the seemingly final result of the ballot?

Native media have mentioned that the vote will likely be one of many closest for the reason that nation’s independence in 1965.

President Barrow wants a majority within the Nationwide Meeting if he’s to efficiently push by way of his political reforms.

However with the break-up of the coalition that sponsored him on the final election, there are doubts whether or not now impartial events will proceed to again him.

Mr Barrow has campaigned for pro-government candidates, however it’s unclear whether or not the ballot winners will proceed to assist him.

And the opposition APRC could make the most of the scenario to win seats. If it succeeds, it’s prone to frustrate the federal government’s agenda.

BBC Monitoring studies and analyses information from TV, radio, internet and print media world wide. You’ll be able to observe BBC Monitoring on Twitter and Fb.


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