Gambia’s Billion Year President: The End of an Era and the Ensuing Political Impasse

The Gambia’s presidential election in December 2016 marked the end of
an era for Yahya Jammeh, the man who had vowed to rule the country for
‘one billion years if Allah says so’. The resulting political impasse following
Jammeh’s rejection of the results ‘in its entirety’ and his refusal to step down
plunged the country into political uncertainty. This paper explores the end of
Jammeh’s 22-year rule in Africa’s smallest mainland country, focussing on
the 2016 polls which he lost to former realtor, Adama Barrow. The election
offers relevant lessons to students of political transitions and contemporary
election discourse in Africa and provides an analysis of some of the factors
that accounted for his defeat.

File Type: pdf
Categories: Journal of African Elections
Tags: dictatorship, Gambia’s 2016 presidential election, opposition coalition, Yahya Jammeh
journal of african elections vol18 number 2 transparent democratic governance in africa