President Barrow

By: Alieu Sagnia and Sainey MK Marenah

The incumbent, President Adama Barrow, was Sunday December 5 declared winner of the presidential election held in The Gambia on Saturday.

Almost twenty-seven hours after the polls closed, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) released the official final election results, announcing that Barrow received 457,519 votes and 53.2 percent of all the votes cast.

Consequently, under Gambia’s first past the post system, Barrow was proclaimed the winner of the December 4 election.

According to the figures released by the IEC, out of 962,157 registered voters, 859,567 cast their votes giving a high voter turnout of over 80 percent.

Barrow challengers in the election were namely, Ousainou Darboe of the UDP with 238,253 votes (27.7 percent), Mamma Kandeh of the GDC with 105,902 votes (12.3 percent), Halifa Sallah of PDOIS with 32,435 votes (3.8 percent) Independent candidate Essa Mbye Faal with 17,206 votes (2.0 percent) and Abdoulie Jammeh of the NUP with 8,252 votes (1.0 percent).

Adama Barrow was re-elected as the candidate of the National People’s Party (NPP) which he founded in 2019.

He was born in a village called Mankamang Kunda around 400 kilometers from Banjul the capital city, and near the town of Basse in Gambia’s Upper River Region.

He has two wives namely, Fatoumata Bah and Sarjo Mballow.

Barrow, 56, was born on 15 February 1965, the same year as his immediate predecessor, Yahya Jammeh. And, like Yahya Jammeh, whose highest educational attainment was being a high school graduate, Barrow attended Crab Island Junior Secondary School and the Muslim High School in Banjul.

Before being sworn in as the third president of the Republic of The Gambia, in January 2017, Barrow worked as a real estate agent and rent collector for property owners in the Kombos.

Adama Barrow was first elected to the presidency in December 2016, when he contested against the incumbent President Yahya Jammeh.

He participated in the presidential election held that year as an independent candidate fielded by a coalition of opposition parties.

In the 2016 race, Barrow polling 43 percent defeated the incumbent President Yahya Jammeh, who got 40 percent of the total votes cast in that election.

It would be recalled that the last time candidate Adama Barrow campaigned for the presidency, in 2016, he did so under the Coalition Agreement.

“ ‘I am committed and loyal to the Coalition Agreement’, Coalition flag-bearer says” was the headline of the lead story in The Point newspaper edition of Tuesday November 1, 2016.

According to that newspaper report, Adama Barrow had at the time declared: “I am committed and loyal to the Coalition and any other agreement that we all appended our signatures on”.

The Point newspaper report went on: “Mr Barrow said come 1 December 2016, if he is elected president of The Gambia, he ‘shall’ implement programmes and policies in line with the spirit and letter of the agreement signed by all the seven political parties in the coalition…

“Details of the Agreement of the Coalition have not been made public, but The Point newspaper understood that one of the terms is that the coalition president shall serve for a transition period of three years, and take the country to an election in which the coalition leader would not contest as a presidential candidate”

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Mr. Sainey M.K. Marenah is a Prominent Gambian journalist, founding editor The Alkamba Times and formerly head of communications at the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) and Communications and PR Consultant for The Gambia Pilot Program, under Gamworks. Mr. Marenah served as the Social media Strategist and Editor at Gambia Radio and Television Services. He is also the Banjul Correspondent for Voice of America Radio. Sainey is a human rights and developmental journalist who has carved a strong niche particularly in new media environments in the Gambian media industry. Mr. Marenah began his career as a junior reporter with the Point Newspaper in the Gambia in 2008 and rose through the ranks to become Chief correspondent before moving to The Standard Newspaper also in Banjul as Editorial Assistant and head of News. He is a household name in the Gambia’s media industry having covered some of the most important stories in the former and current government. These include the high profile treason cases including the Trial of Former military chiefs in Banjul in 2009 to 2012. Following his arrest and imprisonment by the former regime of President, Yahya Jammeh in 2014, Marenah moved to Dakar Senegal where he continues to practice Journalism freelancing for various local and international Media organization’s including the BBC, Al-Jazeera, VOA, and ZDF TV in Germany among others. He is the co-Founder of the Banjul Based Media Center for Research and Development; an institution specialized in research and development undertakings. As a journalist and Communication Expert, focused on supporting the Gambia's transitional process, Mr Marenah continues to play a pivotal role in shaping a viable media and communications platform that engages necessary tools and action to increase civic participation and awareness of the needs of transitional governance to strengthen the current move towards democratization. Mr. Marenah has traveled extensively as a professional journalist in both Europe, Africa and United States and attended several local and international media trainings.

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