By Edrissa Jallow
The Gambia held its Presidential Elections on Saturday 4th December 2021 to elect its next President for the next 5 years. Current Incumbent President Adama Barrow came into power in 2016 after defeating former President Yahya Jammeh of the APRC who’s currently in exile at Equatorial Guinea and Hon Mama Kandeh who defected from the APRC to create his newly formed party GDC.
Even though then UDP’s Adama Barrow had lost at the National Assembly elections to Hon Mama Kandeh, then of APRC, Hon Kandeh’s Presidential Bid claimed a lot of votes from APRC which paved the way for President Barrow to win the elections with a Grand Coalition 2016 of over 5 Opposition Parties.
After creating his own Political Party, the NPP, President Barrow would be contesting against his self-confessed political father Ousainou Darboe of UDP, Hon Mama Kandeh of GDC, Independent Candidate Essa Faal, NUP’s Abdoulie Jammeh and Hon Halifa Sallah of PDOIS.
This is an observation report covering Medina Sey Kunda in Sinchu Alagi, located at Old Yundum Constituency and Kunkujang Keitayaa Central. Our reporter first visited Medina Sey Kunda where numerous voters started arriving at the polling station as early as 6:30 am and included a significant number of elderly voters.
After going through the process of confirming that all the Ballot Boxes were empty with all the Political Party representatives, the ballot boxes were sealed with serial numbers and stationed inside the polling booths for voting to commence. There were 5 different polling booths for voters to cast their marble tokens.
According to the Presiding officer, “the division of streams [polling booths] is based on surnames and this is visible on all polling stations across the country”. Voting commenced at approximately 8 am in the morning. The first voters were the elderly who appeared to need some assistance from the polling staff to be able to cast their votes. It must be recalled that this was the first-time voters had to vote for more than 3 Presidential Candidates.
Our observer voted at this first polling station where they took almost 50 minutes to vote. Below are some of the election results that our observer captured from the polling booths which they visited at the end of the counting all marble tokens.
Our reporter visited a second polling station also called Medina Sey Kunda (Sinchu Lagie) located opposite the main entrance of Teranga FM Radio. This polling station was approximately 150 meters away from the first polling station observed. Given the tight space and the number of people queueing, a significant amount of confusion was observed as Security Officers did their best to ensure that voters were in the right queue.
Each polling booth had a specific number of voters attached with their names all in a list. Therefore, voters who went to the wrong queue were often disappointed when they realise that their names are on another polling booth. Such voters were redirected to the correct polling station where they often had to join the queue again from the start.
The third polling station visited was Kunkujang Keitayaa Central (Bantaba) where there were six different polling booths for voters.
Below are some of the election results posted outside the polling station.
Below are some of the election results posted outside the polling stations at the end of counting all marble tokens.