Gambia Elections: Political parties fail to garner majority seats for National Assembly

By Edward Nyarko

Certified results announced by the Independent Electoral Commission, IEC of the Gambia indicate that none of the political parties won absolute majority seats in the National Assembly. However, the ruling party, the National People’s Party, NPP garnered 19 seats out of the 53 seats up for grabs in Parliament, the United Democratic Party, UDP won 15 seats, independent Candidates had 12 seats, National Reconciliation Party 4 and Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction, APRC of ex- Yahaya Jammeh 1 seat.

Parliamentary Elections:

Gambians for the first time in the post-Yahya Jammeh era went to the polls to elect members of the national assembly on Saturday, April 2022. Though the party of President Adama Barrow overturned the majority seats of 33 held by the opposition party, UDP, it failed to secure the needed majority in the 53- Member National Assembly.

Implications of April 9 Elections:

The development implies that the narrow win of 19 seats by the NPP, which is short of the majority, will have no choice but to extend overtures to other parties in parliament to be able to steer the affairs of the 2 million population.

Analysis:

Analysts say the latest development in the Gambia, clearly shows that Gambians want every part of their society to have representation in Parliament though it will make things difficult for the government. Some Political Analysts in the Gambia have suggested that the government of President Adama Barrow should reach out to the 12 Independent Candidates, especially those, who were members of the NPP but were compelled to go solo and to make business in the National Assembly easy. Also, some analysts blamed the undemocratic nature of the selection of national assembly candidates by the ruling party for its inability to win majority seats in Parliament. Others too were of the view that the low turnout compared with the Presidential elections was due to the lack of education about the importance of Parliamentary Elections and apathy on the part of voters.

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