Gambians have begun voting for members of their one-chamber parliament within the the primary polls since Yahya Jammeh left energy after greater than 22 years.
Below Mr Jammeh, the Nationwide Meeting was regularly ignored because the president enacted government decrees with out session.
Expectations are excessive that beneath the brand new president, Adama Barrow, parliament will play a key half in lawmaking.
Mr Barrow has pledged to hold out political, safety and media reforms.
As a part of his proposed reforms, he’s establishing a fact and reconciliation fee to analyze abuses dedicated beneath Mr Jammeh’s rule.
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Mr Jammeh sparked a political and constitutional disaster by refusing to depart workplace following his defeat within the December 2016 presidential election.
He lastly headed for exile on 21 January after neighbouring international locations threatened to take away him by pressure.
What occurred within the final parliamentary elections?
Mr Jammeh’s then-ruling Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Development (APRC) gained 43 out of 53 seats in 2012.
The opposition largely boycotted the polls and one opposition member was elected. 4 unbiased candidates additionally gained seats.
The president had the ability to pick out an additional 5 members, which he did.
What’s the present state of affairs?
A coalition of seven events that supported President Barrow through the presidential election has collapsed.
And the listing of parliamentary candidates reveals events previously within the coalition vying in opposition to one another in varied constituencies.
President Barrow was a member of the United Democratic Get together (UDP), however stop after being chosen because the opposition coalition’s presidential candidate in order to not be seen as favouring one celebration inside the grouping.
Mr Jammeh’s APRC stays intact, and is collaborating within the election as an opposition celebration for the primary time since he seized energy in a 1994 coup.
What’s the electoral course of?
The Nationwide Meeting is made up of 53 MPs who serve for a five-year time period.
Previously, 48 have been elected by voters whereas 5 have been appointed by the president.
This time, the Unbiased Electoral Fee (IEC) has declared that each one 53 constituencies might be contested and it has printed a listing of the 239 candidates contesting seats.
To qualify a candidate should be no less than 21 years outdated however a legislation requiring candidates to pay $10,000 (£eight,000) has lately been repealed.
How is voting carried out?
Any citizen aged 18 years or older and of sound thoughts has the fitting to vote.
The IEC guidelines say voters should be on the electoral register and have a polling card. Additionally, they need to attend the fitting polling station and keep away from turning up drunk.
There are 886,578 registered voters, who will make their selection of candidate by dropping marbles into drums – the strategy The Gambia has lengthy utilized in elections.
That is stated to forestall doable a number of voting and presiding officers “take heed to the sound of the marble/token hitting the drum”.
Who’re the electoral observers?
Each native and international observers are anticipated.
The European Union has deployed an commentary mission, with 20 individuals who will monitor the poll throughout the nation.
The authorities banned the EU from monitoring the final presidential elections. Nevertheless, African Union officers have been allowed.
What’s the seemingly end result of the ballot?
Native media have stated that the vote might be one of many closest because the nation’s independence in 1965.
President Barrow wants a majority within the Nationwide Meeting if he’s to efficiently push by means of his political reforms.
However with the break-up of the coalition that sponsored him on the final election, there are doubts whether or not now unbiased events will proceed to again him.
Mr Barrow has campaigned for pro-government candidates, however it’s unclear whether or not the ballot winners will proceed to help him.
And the opposition APRC could benefit from the state of affairs to win seats. If it succeeds, it’s more likely to frustrate the federal government’s agenda.