Gambian President-elect Adama Barrow on Saturday vowed to work for national unity and economic growth after power was peacefully transferred in the small West African nation for the first time in its history.
The real estate mogul pledged to introduce an independent judiciary, promote media freedom, establish a two-term limit for the presidency and make the civil service transparent and accountable.
He said that political prisoners would be freed and a truth and reconciliation process to “amend past injustices” launched.
“The position of president is not an ordinary one.
“I am seeking it to make a difference and give Gambia a new start so that the potential of the country and its citizens would be developed to the fullest,’’ Mr. Barrow, 51, said in a statement.
Mr. Barrow said he would form a government that represents all seven coalition parties that supported him during his candidacy.
“The government will improve the poverty-stricken nation’s economy with a focus on agriculture, technology, energy and mining,’’ Mr. Barrow said.
Gambia, one of Africa’s poorest nations, currently heavily relies on peanut exports.
Incumbent Yahya Jammeh, who had ruled the Islamic Republic of 1.9 million people for 22 years with an iron fist, conceded defeat, in an address to the nation on Friday.
The former army colonel, who took power in a coup in 1994, vowed a peaceful transfer of power in January 2017.
Mr. Barrow won 28 of 53 constituencies or 263,515 votes in Thursday’s polls, followed by Mr. Jammeh with 20 constituencies or 212,009 votes. (dpa/NAN)
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