The Gambia opposition asks Supreme Court to annul poll results

Opposition United Democratic Party says corruption and bribery marred the campaign.

Ousainou Darboe's United Democratic Party has petitioned the Supreme Court to nullify the results [File: Sally Hayden/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images]

The Gambia’s main opposition party has filed a petition at the country’s Supreme Court to formally challenge the results of the December 4 presidential election which handed Adama Barrow a second term.

On Tuesday, Ousainou Darboe’s United Democratic Party stated that it had petitioned the Supreme Court to nullify the results over what it said was corruption and bribery that marred the campaign.

Barrow, whose election win in 2016 put an end to more than 20 years of dictatorship in the West African nation, won a second term in the polls.

The former property developer won 53 percent of the votes, far ahead of political veteran Ousainou Darboe’s 27.7 percent.

The opposition party’s petition said Barrow and his party members promised cash in exchange for votes. It also argued that the election was invalid because numerous foreign nationals had allegedly cast votes, among other irregularities.

The opposition has yet to provide any evidence of wrongdoing.


Election observers from the African Union said the election was conducted in line with international standards, and European Union observers praised the transparency of the voting and counting process.

The United States has also given its approval, saying observers noted only “minor” irregularities.

The opposition has the right to petition the results before the Supreme Court within 10 days. The court then has 30 working days from the start of hearings to issue its decision.

Preparations for Barrow’s swearing-in ceremony on January 19 are under way.

The vote marked the first election in The Gambia, a former British colony of two million people, since former President Yahya Jammeh fled into exile.

Jammeh ruled for 22 years after seizing power in a bloodless coup in 1994, with his government accused of using death squads and torture, among other abuses.

The former leader fled to Equatorial Guinea in January 2017 after Barrow, then a relative unknown, defeated him at the ballot box.

Source: News Agencies