AFRICA/GAMBIA - President-elect Barrow for national reconciliation, Jammeh defeated after 22 years in power

Monday, 5 December 2016 elections  

Banjul (Agenzia Fides) - The President of Gambia, Yahya Jammeh will hand over power in January after losing the elections on December 1, won by Adama Barrow. Voters, in a democratic way, put an end to 22 years of Jammeh's government, who had taken power in a coup in 1994 and was re-elected three times. Jammeh however acknowledged the defeat. Barrow has already started consultations for the formation of the new government and met with the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for West Africa and the Sahel, Mohamed Ibn Chambas.
The first issue on the new president's agenda is the release of political prisoners and opponents of Jammeh. Barrow praised the latter for acknowledging the defeat, "a fact which is not always usual in Africa". The president-elect also said that Jammeh will continue to live in the country as an ordinary citizen and who does not want to "conduct a witch-hunt", paving the way to national reconciliation. Gambia has a population of 1,929,000 inhabitants, of which 43,000 Catholics. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 05/12/2016)