Commercial activities resumed on the streets of Gambia Monday morning after citizens voted President Adama Barrow for a fresh term in the presidential elections held on Saturday.
PREMIUM TIMES observed Monday morning that commercial drivers and other informal workers trooped out to resume work hours after the elections were concluded Sunday evening.
Mr Barrow secured a fresh term of five years in the country’s presidential election held on Saturday, December 4.
The president, who contested the election under the banner of the National People’s Party (NPP), polled 457,519 votes to defeat his closest rival, Ousainou Darboe, of the United Democratic Party (UDP) who garnered 238,253 votes.
“Having received 457, 519 votes in the election, I hereby declare Adama Barrow duly elected to serve as president of The Gambia,” Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) chairman, Alieu Njai, said.
In the result announced on Sunday, Mr Barrow came victorious in 47 of the 53 constituencies in the country.
On Monday, the people resumed works as commercial activities began at a slow pace in the wake of electioneering activities.
Abdoulaye Malik, a resident of Banjul, told PREMIUM TIMES that Mr Barrow’s win signifies stability and peace for the country.
“I supported Barrow and I am happy he won,” he said.
“I expect to see stability in government and we hope that brings development.”
For Isatou Jawara, a student, the re-election of Mr Barrow is a vote for peace.
She added that the most important desire of most Gambians is peace, having been troubled by the turbulent reign of former president Yahya Jammeh.
Mr Jammeh fled the country after he was defeated by Mr Barrow five years ago. His reign was characterised by suppression of human rights, media gag and rights abuse.
Despite his absence, Mr Jammeh’s image looms large in the just concluded presidential election.
“We don’t want to have a repeat of the fear that characterised Jammeh’s tenure,” Ms Jawara said.
But for Njie Bouba, a supporter of opposition candidate Ousainou Darboe, the elections were not without disturbing concerns.
Mr Bouba wondered why the announcement of results was delayed, adding that the electoral umpire has some clarifications to make.
“I want peace and have since moved on but the election results appeared suspicious,” he said.
When asked of his expectations from the winner, Mr Barrow, he said he had very little expectations and would not be disappointed if Mr Barrow failed to inspire hope.
“Barrow has reneged on promises and failed to even implement the recommendation of the truth commission so I don’t expect much,” he said.
Others who spoke to PREMIUM TIMES Monday morning said they expected the president to act as a bridge-builder and unite all Gambians, irrespective of political affiliation.
The Gambia has a significant youth population, but the West African Country is one of the poorest in the subregion. It relies essentially on tourism, and its many beaches attract tourists from all over the world.
On Sunday, three opposition candidates rejected the results of the presidential election over concerns around the delay in transmission of results.
But local observers have deemed the polls free and fair.
Saturday’s election is widely seen as a test of democracy in the young West African country.
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