News24

Gambia voter registration begins

2011-05-05 20:09

Banjul - Voter registration ahead of presidential, legislative and local government polls in November kicked off Thursday in Gambia, after incumbent President Yahya Jammeh said he was sure to win.

"The exercise is expected to cover over 800 000 eligible Gambian voters," Mustapha Carayol, Chair of the Independent Electoral Commission told AFP.

Gambia's leader said on Wednesday said he was sure to win November elections in which he will seek a fourth term as president of the tiny west African country, adding they would be free and fair.

"It is a foregone conclusion that I will sweep the November presidential polls that will be free, fair and transparent," Jammeh said

The country's electoral body has introduced a new computerised voter registration system for the November 24 elections.

Jammeh, an outspoken military officer and former wrestler who took power in a bloodless coup in 1994, is said to rule the smallest state on the African mainland with an iron fist, repressing criticism and brushing off concerns over human rights abuses.

Five opposition parties plan to take part in the elections, but analysts say they have no alternative but to unite to pose a credible challenge to Jammeh's ruling party.