Gambia opposition alliance rally together against President Jammeh
- November 30, 2016
Opposition parties of Gambia are rallying together against a single candidate for the first time in decades, forming a coalition they hope will oust longtime President Yahya Jammeh, who has been accused of human rights abuses throughout his 22-year rule.
United Democratic Party candidate Adama Barrow faces Jammeh in Thursday’s vote, and his supporters say their social media campaign is drawing younger voters frustrated with the corruption and violence that has marked Jammeh’s time in power.
Jammeh, though, says the West African country has seen its fastest economic development during his rule and he is prepared to develop it further.
Jammeh, who took power in a coup in 1994, is running for a fifth five-year term.
Accusations against Jammeh
Human Rights groups accuse Jammeh of corruption and accuse him of human rights violations against political opponents, journalists, and gays and lesbians.
Reliant on tourism and agriculture, Gambia has seen an exodus of citizens trying to migrate to Europe on dangerous water routes in recent years.Rights groups worry intimidation and a lack of equal air time will show at the voting booths.
Three opposition party members died in detention earlier this year after protests calling for electoral and political reforms. Fifteen opposition supporters are now serving three-year prison sentences.
Candidates who choose to join the coalition, remain optimistic, citing the will of the people.