Gambian President who wanted to ‘slit the throats’ of gay people loses election
Gambian president Yahya Jammeh has lost the re-election after 22 years of authoritarian ruling.
Adama Barrow took 45.5% of the vote over Jammeh’s 36.7%, as he promised the country a “new Gambia.”
Jammeh was notoriously anti-LGBT having previously threatened to slit the throats of gay people in his country.
The president retracted a threat to decapitate gay people in Gambia, but said they would be driven out of their homes.
The former president had referred to gay people as “vermin” saying they should be dealt with like they are mosquitoes. He also claimed in September that he can cure AIDS, but only on Mondays and Thursdays.
Yahya Jammeh has ruled the country since 1994 came into power following a military coup. During his 22-year reign he has crushed any opposition to his regime and encouraged violence against the LGBT community.
In 2008, he was strongly criticised by EU officials after he vowed to introduce laws stricter than those in Iran, where gay acts between men are punishable by death.
President elect Adama Barrow, who has seized the position from Jammeh, worked and studied in the UK for a few years before returning to his home country and setting up a property company.
The 51-year-old has never held a public office position but has vowed to revive the country’s economy.
Ahead of the election Jammeh cracked down on his political opponents as he banned international observers, post-election demonstrations and switched off the internet.
His tactical moves made hopes for a new president unlikely, so Barrow’s win came as a surprise to Gambia’s population.