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Gambia's Jammeh loses presidential election to Adamu Barrow

Yahya Jammeh has been in power for 22 years
The Gambia's president of 22 years Yahya Jammeh will be replaced by a property developer, Adama Barrow, after losing the general election.

Mr Jammeh, who came to power in a coup in 1994, has agreed to accept defeat, said electoral commission chief Alieu Momar Njie.

Before announcing the final result, Mr Njie appealed for calm as the country entered unchartered waters.
The Gambia has not had a smooth power transfer since independence in 1965. 

Mr Njie said that Mr Barrow had won Thursday's election by more than 50,000 votes. He runs a property company which he founded in 2006.

A devout Muslim, Mr Jammeh, 51, once said he would rule for "one billion years" if "Allah willed it".

"It's really unique that someone who has been ruling this country for so long has accepted defeat," Mr Njie told reporters
Adama Barrow has proved popular with younger voters
Human rights groups have accused Mr Jammeh, who has in the past claimed he can cure Aids and infertility, of repression and abuses.
Several previous opposition leaders are in jail after taking part in a rare protest in April.

Observers from the European Union (EU) and the West African regional bloc Ecowas did not attend the vote.

Gambian officials opposed the presence of Western observers, but the EU said it was staying away out of concern about the fairness of the voting process.

The African Union did despatch a handful of observers to supervise the vote, however.

The Gambia, a tiny country with a population of fewer than two million, is surrounded on three sides by Senegal and has a short Atlantic coastline popular with European tourists.

 Source: BBC

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