Gambia election recount awards Barrow slimmer win

2016-12-07 16:16
Adama Barrow (File: AFP)

Adama Barrow (File: AFP)

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Banjul - The Gambia's shock election result awarded president-elect Adama Barrow extra votes by mistake but a recount showed he still won outright, the country's electoral commission told AFP on Tuesday.

Alieu Momar Njie, chairperson of the Independent Electoral Commission, said correct counting on the spot in one region had been marred by an error when the results were tabulated centrally.

All the candidates have had their final result numbers reduced, but Barrow and third party candidate Mama Kandeh were more heavily affected.

"As soon as we discovered this issue we called all the parties involved and they all endorsed the new result," he told AFP by phone.

Constitutionally any party has until December 12, 10 days after the declaration of results, to contest the decision.

The new results showed Barrow won the December 1 vote, which ended 22 years of rule by President Yahya Jammeh, by just 19 221 votes.

Torture wounds 

Barrow took 227 708 (43.29%) of 525 963 votes, while longtime President Yahya Jammeh took 208 487 (39.64%) and third party candidate Mama Kandeh 89 768 votes (17.07%).

Barrow lost 35 807 votes from the original total, Jammeh 3 612, and Kandeh 13 201.

Turnout was therefore lower than previously reported, at 59%.

Barrow's transition team is due to meet Jammeh for the first time since the election in the coming days to smooth his accession to power.

The news was followed by the announcement that more prisoners from the main opposition United Democratic Party (UDP) would be freed on bail as their trial continues for holding an unauthorised protest in May.

UDP party official Ebrima Solo Kurumah was among those on trial but died in custody in August. The party said he died from torture wounds.

The defendants bailed on Tuesday had protested outside court where UDP leader Ousainou Darboe appeared on similar charges after he was arrested in April.

Darboe was released on bail along with 18 others on Monday as part of their ongoing appeal against three-year sentences.

He told journalists Tuesday that if Barrow's coalition had not won the elections he believed he would not have been released.

"My imprisonment had already been arranged so there was nothing I could do about it," he said at his home. "If we had not won the elections I would not have been out."

Read more on:    yahya jammeh  |  adama barrow  |  gambia  |  gambia 2016 elections  |  west africa

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