Gambians vote in first presidential election after dictatorship

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Tallinding Bantaba

Hundreds of thousands of Gambians on Saturday, December 4, 2021 queued in 1,554 polling stations to vote in the country’s first presidential election defeat of dictatorship and exiling of the former dictator Yahya Jammeh.

Yahya Jammeh has ruled the country for 22 years after a military coup in 1994.

Jammeh was defeated in 2016 presidential election by the coalition of seven political parties and independent candidate known as Coalition 2016.

His defeat was followed by his exiled in Equatorial Guinea after refusing to step down.

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) registered 962,157 voters qualified to cast their votes to elect the next president for the coming five-year term.

Mary Massaquo, a student told The Monitor that she has voted, hoping that the best will come out of the election.

The she said that she is happy that she has cast her vote in the nation’s election for the first time.

Fatou Jawara, who was standing on the queue, said s

Polling Station

he is going to cast her vote as a way of exercising her democratic right and for her voice heard in the governance of country.

Abdou Touray, another voter said he has cast his vote and he is now going home to wait for the result of the election as the verdict of the citizens.

However, domestic observers who informed this medium stated that the voting is progressing well.

Mr. Sowe, a presiding officer at Kanifing Estate Community Center polling station said that they have experienced no difficulties in the voting process so far.

“Everything is going fine here,” he said.

According to Sowe, more than half of the total registered voters in his polling station have voted.

The voter turnout in both the urban and rural Gambia are described as remarkable compared to previous elections where the level of expected voters apathy can be gauged by the length of the queue.

The Gambia is yet to introduce a ballot paper system and is the only country that vote with the use of marbles dropped in a hole of a metal pipe to fall at the bottom of a metal ballot drum.

At the end of the metal pipe where the marble passes through has a bell that the marble frictions to ring for the detecting any vote cast.

There in a secret ballot system in which all ballot drums are housed inside a fenced booth.

Voters identify their choice of candidates and political parties by the colour of the drums with attached symbols and pictures.

 

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