The opposition United Democratic Party (UDP) wants the country’s top constitutional court to overturn the December 4 presidential election, after alleging widespread rigging by President Barrow’s NPP.

In an election petition filed late Tuesday in Banjul at the Supreme Court, the UDP lawyers expressed belief that they have enough evidence to support their case.

The election was generally declared free, fair and transparent by local and international observers, some of whom raised some concerns; and, recommended that the electoral commission improves on its performance.

A senior Gambian lawyer, Borry Touray, is leading the team of lawyers which submitted the UDP petition at the country’s apex court.

He told reporters that they have evidence to back their claims, and was confident that the Supreme Court will do justice to the matter.

According to the Gambian constitution (in section 49): “Any registered political party which has participated in the election of a Presidential election or an independent candidate who has participated in such an election and isn’t satisfied with results may apply to the Supreme Court to determine the validity of the election of a President by filing a petition within 10 days of the declaration of the result of the election”.

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) released the official election results last Sunday 5 December, and declared Barrow as the winner, with 457,519 votes and 53.2 percent of all the votes cast.

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 around 90 percent.

Barrow’s 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).

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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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