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Former Argos security guard wins Gambia elections

A former security guard who worked at an Argos store in North London has been elected president of The Gambia. Adama Barrow ended Yahya Jammeh s 22-year-long rule in a shock victory following Thursday s elections. The 51-year-old is set to be president for the next five years and marks a change of leadership in the country . However he only emerged onto The Gambia s political scene some six months ago.

Adama Barrow won by 263,515 votes 45 percent of the total while Yahya Jammeh finished in second place with 36 percent.

Rule for a billion years

According to Sky News1, Yahya Jammeh had vowed to rule for a billion years . During the election campaign, Jammeh said his victory would be the biggest landslide in the history of the country. He appeared on television to concede saying: I take this opportunity to congratulate Mr Adama for his victory . It s a clear victory .

I wish him all the best and I wish all Gambians the best. Jammeh who came to power in 1994, also offered the President elect help with the transition. Human rights groups have heavily criticised Jammeh s rule of The Gambia and accused him of repressing the media, opposition and being anti-gay .

According to the BBC2, in 2014, he called homosexuals vermin .

A passion for Arsenal Football Club

According to The Independent3, 51-year-old President elect Adama Barrow spent over three years living in London when he was younger. He worked in an Argos store on Holloway Road as a security guard, close to the Emirates Stadium where Arsenal Football Club play. The President elect is said to have developed a passion for his local team.

He later moved back to his home country and set up his own estate agency. Barrow had been chosen by a group of political parties who rallied together to try and end Jammeh s 22-year-long rule.

Cheering in the streets

The Guardian4 reported that as soon as the result had been announced people went out onto the streets of the capital Banjul to celebrate. Cars were screeching their horns and loudly playing music while children and their families gathered to sing.

People also took to the internet to celebrate following a 24 hour internet blackout on the day of the election.

References

  1. ^ Sky News (news.sky.com)
  2. ^ BBC (www.bbc.co.uk)
  3. ^ The Independent (www.independent.co.uk)
  4. ^ The Guardian (www.theguardian.com)