After twenty-two years of one-party rule Gambia may see multiple parties entering the parliament. The country will go into election on Thursday, first time since departure of long time dictator leader Yahya Jammeh from the country.
Several parties were united last December to form a coalition in Gambia and oust Jammeh, but internal tensions resulted with breakup of the unity.
This mean a total of nine parties will run in polls and Jammeh’s Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC) too will be trying its luck to come into power.
The United Democratic Party (UDP), the strongest traditional opposition force, will also run in the legislative polls.
Youth-led Gambia Democratic Congress (GDC) party is said to be a significant threat to other leading parties as in the presidential poll it landed in third place.
The GDC didn’t join the government coalition in December 2016.
Data reveals over 880,000 people in the country will vote on Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The first phase result could be announced by evening and the rest by Friday morning.
It is difficult to understand the mood of people as there is no formal opinion polling and also rallies of APRC are way less this time that once dominated the streets.
Currently there are 53 seats in the assembly. In 2012 the number was 48. Additionally 5 more places are appointed and the number totals to 58 seats in the legislative chamber.
Meanwhile, European Union, African Union and regional ECOWAS bloc as well have sent observers to monitor the Gambian polls.