- Title: Gambia's Jammeh dealt shock election loss after 22-year rule
- Date: 2nd December 2016
- Summary: BANJUL, GAMBIA (DECEMBER 2, 2016) (REUTERS) NEWS CONFERENCE HELD BY GAMBIA'S INDEPENDENT ELECTORAL COMMISSION JOURNALISTS AND CAMERAS AT NEWS CONFERENCE PRESIDENT OF GAMBIA'S INDEPENDENT ELECTORAL COMMISSION, ALIEU MOMARR NJAI, SURROUNDED BY OTHER MEMBERS OF COMMISSION JOURNALIST RECORDING NEWS CONFERENCE ON MOBILE PHONE (SOUNDBITE) (English) PRESIDENT OF GAMBIA'S INDEPENDENT ELECTORAL COMMISSION, ALIEU MOMARR NJAI, SAYING: "I hereby wish to give the final results of the election as follows: Adama Barrow - 265,000... 263,515 votes, 263,515 votes. Sheikh Professor Alhaji Doctor Yahya Jammeh Babili Mansa - 202,000... 212,099 votes, 212,099 votes. Mamma Kandeh - 102,969 votes, 102, 969 votes." NEWS CONFERENCE FINISHING VARIOUS OF ADAMA BARROW'S SUPPORTERS CELEBRATING IN STREET SUPPORTERS ON CAR, SHOUTING AND CELEBRATING VARIOUS OF MORE PEOPLE CELEBRATING / CAR HONKING
- Embargoed: 17th December 2016 15:50
- Keywords: Banjul Gambia election Jammeh Barrow
- Location: BANJUL, GAMBIA
- City: BANJUL, GAMBIA
- Country: Gambia
- Reuters ID: LVA0015B6ZE4N
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Gambian President Yahya Jammeh, who vowed to lead the tiny West African nation for "a billion years", suffered a shock election defeat on Friday (December 2) to businessman Adama Barrow after ruling for 22 years since he seized power in a coup.
Voting against Jammeh on Thursday (December 1) was a rare show of defiance against a leader who has effectively ruled by decree and who human rights groups say routinely crushes dissent by imprisoning and torturing opponents.
Barrow, a businessman, promised to revive Gambia's economy, end widespread human rights abuses and to step down after three years as a boost to democracy.
Gambians voted amid a total blackout of the internet and all international calls, and with land borders sealed, in a poll posing the first serious challenge to Jammeh since he took office in 1994.
President of Gambia's Independent Electoral Commission, Alieu Momarr Njai, declared Barrow president-elect on state television.
"Adama Barrow… 263,515 votes," said Njai, announcing the final results of the election. "Yahya Jammeh… 212,099 votes."
Celebrations erupted in the streets of the capital Banjul, a normally sleepy seaside city, whose white beaches lined with palm trees are a draw for European tourists.
Gambians shouted: "We are free. We won't be slaves of anyone". Some waved the Gambian flag and opposition party signs.
Njai also told reporters that Jammeh would concede, which, if it happens, would be momentous for Gambia.
However, around two hours after the electoral commission announced the vote, there was no official word from Jammeh or his team about stepping down or accepting the result.
A peaceful change of power in Gambia would be a welcome surprise for African democracy at a time when many of the continent's leaders have been rigging polls, fiddling with constitutions to extend their terms in office and cracking down on peaceful protest.
Barrow, a real estate developer who once worked as security guard at retailer Argos in London, earlier told Reuters he was expecting a phone call from Jammeh conceding defeat.
Earlier this week Jammeh said that his "presidency and power are in the hands of Allah and only Allah can take it from me", and on one occasion even said he would remain in office for "a billion years".
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