Gambia Elections: Adama Barrow Re-elected but He Must Fill Voids in his Governance Strategy

Gambians have voted to bring the incumbent president to power once again amid heated elections that have already been rejected by the opposition party.

With one of its kind polling methods that are only used in the Gambia, this election was the first one in the last 27 years without the involvement of former President Yahya Jammeh, who was exiled after 2017.

It is alleged that he remained involved in perpetrating violence in the country during his 22 years of rule.

Gambia President Adama Barrow have got the presidency second time and this time he must translate his agenda into reality to avoid voters wrath next time.

Gambia President Adama Barrow has got the presidency the second time and this time he must translate his agenda into reality to avoid voters' wrath next time.

Gambians Remain with the Status Quo: Adama Barrow Re-elected

The Gambia has a unique voting system not used anywhere in the world. Having different drums placed at polling stations painted in the color of each candidate, the voters are given stones to throw in those drums using the pipes attached with them.

Thus, with Gambians throwing stones to elect their favorite politician, the incumbent has emerged victorious once again.

The end of Jammeh’s 22-year rule in the Gambia was considered a significant relief for Gambians. The masses celebrated for overthrowing the authoritarian leader from the country who was widely believed to be one of the most corrupt politicians of Africa.

With the pervasive corruption, which spiked under two decades of rule of Jammeh, and a track record of expanding atrocities in the country, Jammeh’s loss in 2017 was obvious, and not many people regretted it.

While Jammeh did try to mend his reputation, however, he missed the trick of getting votes by spending too much on infrastructure development in a country where people were worried about their next meal.

Spending too much on white elephant projects, he erected school buildings with no staff or equipment and hospitals with no modern-day machinery. Thus the infrastructure did nothing to help him impress voters.

The newly elected president was hailed as a hero by Gambians and for all the right reasons, as he campaigned to bring The Gambia back on track after the persistent tyrant rule of Jammeh.

Yahya Jammeh, the former President of Gambia is a well known dictator who had been accused of perpetuating corruption in the country.

Yahya Jammeh, the former President of Gambia is a well known dictator who had been accused of perpetuating corruption in the country.

Adama Barrow: Just Another Face of Yahya Jammeh?

However, as the days and years went by, many systematic abuses that remained under Jammeh’s era remained intact, and Barrow did nothing to curb them.

For many, he started becoming Jammeh with a new name, as the lives of the masses did not improve.

Just like in many other countries, Gambians also became victims of a popular agenda that was motivated to garner votes but not to bring reforms in actuality.

However, the deteriorated system of two decades can never be revamped in a four-year tenure, and this narrative helped Barrow in clinging to power once again.

The Gambia is just another country where the losing one always cries foul, primarily due to the pervasive distrust of state institutions.

When Jammeh lost in 2017, he decried and refused to accept the election result. The same is the case this time, as opposition parties have already refused to accept the results in their bid to undermine the elections.

Claiming that an extraordinary delay was observed in the reporting of election results, the opposition believes that the elections were marred by widespread conspiracy.

Final Thoughts

With another term in office, the incumbent Barrow, who will continue serving as the president, will have to launch an intense drive of pushing his agenda further, which has often been compromised by him.

While this year voters gave him a second chance, majorly because they gave two decades of the rule to another president as well, there is no guarantee that he can continue winning the elections moving forward with the path he is pursuing.

For him, correcting his course seems to be the only way to stay relevant in the country’s politics.