Magazine article New African

Jammeh Expects a Smoother Ride. (around Africa - the Gambia)

Magazine article New African

Jammeh Expects a Smoother Ride. (around Africa - the Gambia)

Article excerpt

President Yahyah Jammeh faces his biggest challenge on 18 October when Gambians go to the polls to elect a new assembly and president. For the first time since Jammeh came to power in 1994, previously banned politicians are being allowed to run against the incumbent.

Jammeh is confident of victory, but a coalition of the strongest opposition parties in the country is expected to give him a run for his money.

The coalition includes the Peoples Progressive Party (PPP), formerly led by President Dawda Jawara, which ruled the country for the first 30 years after independence.

Other members of the coalition are: the United Democratic Party (UDP) which has been politically active for the last seven years, and the Gambia Peoples Party (GPP) which has been in existence since Jawara's days.

The UDP leader, Ousainou Darboe, a lawyer, is the coalition's presidential candidate. He ran and lost against Jammeh in the last elections in 1996. This time he says Jammeh will not have it that easy.

There was speculation that Jawara, whose government was overthrown by Jammeh's coup of 1994, was preparing to return from exile in Britain to run again. …

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