UDP wins sweeping election victory

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The Gambia’s longtime opposition won an absolute majority in parliamentary elections, easily defeating the party of ousted leader Yahya Jammeh, according to official results, AFP news agency reports.

The United Democratic Party (UDP) won 31 of the 53 available elected seats in the country’s National Assembly, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) announced.

IEC chairman Alieu Momar Njai announced the results. He said that turnout was low at 42%, with more civic education needed to persuade people to come out and vote in legislative polls, AFP adds.

Mr. Jammeh’s APRC party won just five seats.

The UDP was one of seven parties who united to propel President Adama Barrow to power in December last year, but that coalition broke apart for parliamentary elections.

The party has long considered itself a government-in-waiting, and Barrow was UDP treasurer until resigning to become the flagbearer candidate for the coalition. 

Their victory is likely to make it easier for the new president Barrow to get a raft of promised reforms passed, with UDP leader Ousainou Darboe a personal friend and longtime ally of the president. 

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