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AFRICAN ELECTIONS DATABASE

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Elections in The Gambia
 
Political Profile
Political System: Restricted Democratic Practice
President: Yahya Jammeh (APRC) [since 22 July 1994; seized power in 1994 military coup, elected 1996, re-elected 2001, 2006, and 2011] The President is elected by direct popular vote for a 5-year term. Electoral System: First Past The Post.
National Assembly [unicameral]: (53 Seats) 48 members are elected by direct popular vote in single-member constituencies using the first-past-the-post (simple majority) system, 5 are appointed by the President; members serve 5-year terms.
Political Situation since Independence
1965-1994 Democracy
1994-1996 Military Regime
1996-2001 Restricted Democratic Practice
2001-2011 Emerging Democracy
2011-        Restricted Democratic Practice
2012 Freedom House Rating: Political Rights - 6, Civil Liberties - 5, Status: Not Free
Next Scheduled Presidential Election: 2016
Next Scheduled National Assembly Election: 2017
Political Parties: APRC - Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction, DCA - Democratic Congress Alliance, GCP - Gambia Congress Party, GMC - Gambia Moral Congress, GNU - Gambia National Union, GPDP - Gambia Party for Democracy and Progress, GPP - Gambia People's Party, NADD - National Alliance for Democracy and Development, NCP - National Convention Party, NDAM - National Democratic Action Movement, NLP - National Liberation Party, NRP - National Reconciliation Party, PDOIS - People's Democratic Organisation for Independence and Socialism, PDP - People's Democratic Party, PPP - People's Progressive Party, UDP - United Democratic Party, UP - United Party.
Coalitions: Alliance for Regime Change (ARC) [Contested the 2006 Presidential Election] Member parties include the United Democratic Party (UDP), National Reconciliation Party (NRP), and the Gambia Party for Democracy and Progress (GPDP); National Alliance for Democracy and Development (NADD) [Contested the 2006 Presidential and 2007 National Assembly Elections] Member parties include the People's Democratic Organisation for Independence and Socialism (PDOIS) and the National Democratic Action Movement (NDAM); Progressive People's Party-Democratic Congress Alliance (PPP-DCA) [Contested the 1962 House of Representatives Election]; United Democratic Party-Gambia Moral Congress-People's Progressive Party-National Convention Party (UDP-GMC-PPP-NCP) [Contested the 2011 Presidential Election]; United Democratic Party-People's Progressive Party-Gambia People's Party (UDP-PPP-GPP) [Contested the 2001 Presidential Election];  United Front (UF) [Contested the 2011 Presidential Election] Member parties include the National Reconciliation Party (NRP), National Alliance for Democracy and Development (NADD), People's Democratic Organisation for Independence and Socialism, and the Gambia Party for Democracy and Progress (GPDP); United Party-Gambia Congress Party (UP-GCP) [Contested the 1966 House of Representatives Election].
 
Election Results
 
 
Presidential: 1982, 1987, 1992, 1996, 2001, 2006, 2011
Legislative: 1960, 1962, 1966, 1972, 1977, 1982, 1987, 1992, 1997, 2002, 2007, 2012
Referendums/Plebiscites: 1965, 1970, 1996
Local: 2002
 
 
20-30 May 1960 House of Representatives Election

Registered Voters

Not Available

Total Votes (Voter Turnout)

Not Available (N/A)

Invalid/Blank Votes

Not Available

Total Valid Votes

69,048

Party Number of Votes % of Votes Number of Seats (19)*/**
People's Progressive Party (PPP) 25,490 36.92% 9
United Party (UP) 12,497 18.10% 5
Democratic Congress Alliance (DCA) 3,526 5.11% 1
Independents 27,535 39.88% 4
*19 members were directly elected and an additional 8 were reserved for protectorate chiefs.
**Due to confusion over the party affiliations of some candidates, the distribution of seats won by each party in the election varies by source. The following seat distribution figures are cited by some sources: PPP (8), UP (6), DCA (3), and Independents (2), as well as: PPP (8), UP (8), and DCA (3).
 
22-31 May 1962 House of Representatives Election

Registered Voters

Not Available

Total Votes (Voter Turnout)

Not Available (approx. 75%)

Invalid/Blank Votes

Not Available

Total Valid Votes

97,647

Party/[Coalition]

Number of Votes

% of Votes

Number of Seats (32)**

People's Progressive Party-Democratic Congress Alliance [PPP-DCA] 60,523 61.98% 19

People's Progressive Party (PPP) (56,343) (57.70%)
18
Democratic Congress Alliance (DCA) (4,180) (4.28%) 1
United Party (UP)* 37,016 37.91% 13
Independents 108 0.11% -
*The Gambia National Union (GNU) campaigned for United Party (UP) candidates in the election.
**32 members were directly elected, an additional 8 were appointed by the governor and protectorate chiefs.
 
18-26 November 1965 Plebiscite*
Main Points: Declaration of the Republic

Registered Voters

154,626

Total Votes (Voter Turnout)

Not Available (N/A)

Invalid/Blank Votes

Not Available

Total Valid Votes

  93,484

Results Number of Votes % of Votes
"Yes" Votes 61,593 65.85%
"No" Votes 31,921 34.15%
*The proposal was rejected because it fell short of the required two-thirds majority.
 
17-26 May 1966 House of Representatives Election

Registered Voters

175,732

Total Votes (Voter Turnout)

Not Available (N/A)

Invalid/Blank Votes

Not Available

Total Valid Votes

124,492

Party/[Coalition]

Number of Votes

% of Votes

Number of Seats (32)

People's Progressive Party (PPP) 81,313 65.32% 24
United Party-Gambia Congress Party [UP-GCP] 41,549 33.37% 8

United Party (UP)


7
Gambia Congress Party (GCP) 1
Independents 1,630 1.31% -
 
24 April 1970 Plebiscite
Main Points: Declaration of the Republic

Registered Voters

135,000 (approx.)

Total Votes (Voter Turnout)

Not Available (N/A)

Invalid/Blank Votes

Not Available

Total Valid Votes

120,606

Results Number of Votes % of Votes
"Yes" Votes 84,968 70.45%
"No" Votes 35,638 29.55%
 
28-29 March 1972 House of Representatives Election

Registered Voters

136,521

Total Votes (Voter Turnout)

Not Available (N/A)

Invalid/Blank Votes

Not Available

Total Valid Votes

103,851

Party Number of Votes % of Votes Number of Seats (32)*
People's Progressive Party (PPP) 65,388 62.96% 28
United Party (UP) 17,161 16.52% 3
Independents 21,302 20.51% 1
*32 members were directly elected; an additional 3 were appointed by the President. There were also 4 Chiefs’ representatives and the Attorney general who was an ex-officio member.
 
4-5 April 1977 House of Representatives Election*

Registered Voters

216,234

Total Votes (Voter Turnout)

Not Available (N/A)

Invalid/Blank Votes

Not Available

Total Valid Votes

177,181

Party Number of Votes % of Votes Number of Seats (35)**
People's Progressive Party (PPP) 123,297 69.59% 27
National Convention Party (NCP) 40,212 22.70% 5
United Party (UP) 5,403 3.05% 2
National Liberation Party (NLP) 4,095 2.31% -
Independents 4,174 2.36% -
*In one constituency, the election was postponed due to the death of a candidate. The seat was won by the People's Progressive Party (PPP) in a May 1977 by-election, giving the party a total of 28 seats.
**35 members were directly elected; the number of Chiefs’ representatives and additional members appointed by the President is not available. The Attorney general served as an ex-officio member.
 
4-5 May 1982 Presidential Election

Registered Voters

Not Available

Total Votes (Voter Turnout)

Not Available (N/A)

Invalid/Blank Votes

Not Available

Total Valid Votes

189,156

Candidate (Party) Number of Votes % of Votes
Dawda Jawara (PPP) 137,020 72.44%
Sheriff Mustapha Dibba (NCP) 52,136 27.56%
 
4-5 May 1982 House of Representatives Election

Registered Voters

Not Available

Total Votes (Voter Turnout)

Not Available (N/A)

Invalid/Blank Votes

Not Available

Total Valid Votes

166,102

Party Number of Votes % of Votes Number of Seats (35)*
People's Progressive Party (PPP) 102,545 61.74% 27
National Convention Party (NCP) 32,634 19.65% 3
United Party (UP) 4,782 2.88% -
Independents 26,141 15.74% 5
*35 members were directly elected; an additional 8 were appointed by the President. There were also 5 Chiefs’ representatives and the Attorney general who was an ex-officio member.
 
11 March 1987 Presidential Election

Registered Voters

Not Available

Total Votes (Voter Turnout)

Not Available (N/A)

Invalid/Blank Votes

Not Available

Total Valid Votes

208,479

Candidate (Party) Number of Votes % of Votes
Dawda Jawara (PPP) 123,385 59.18%
Sheriff Mustapha Dibba (NCP) 57,343 27.51%
Assan Musa Camara (GPP) 27,751 13.31%
 
11 March 1987 House of Representatives Election

Registered Voters

Not Available

Total Votes (Voter Turnout)

Not Available (approx. 80%)

Invalid/Blank Votes

Not Available

Total Valid Votes

211,615

Party Number of Votes % of Votes Number of Seats (36)*
People's Progressive Party (PPP) 119,248 56.35% 31
National Convention Party (NCP) 58,461 27.63% 5
Gambian People's Party (GPP) 31,604 14.93% -
People's Democratic Organisation for Independence and Socialism (PDOIS) 2,069 0.98% -
Independents 233 0.11% -
*36 members were directly elected; an additional 8 were appointed by the President. There were also 5 Chiefs’ representatives and the Attorney general who was an ex-officio member.
 
29 April 1992 Presidential Election

Registered Voters

400,000 (approx.)

Total Votes (Voter Turnout)

Not Available (N/A)

Invalid/Blank Votes

Not Available

Total Valid Votes

201,017

Candidate (Party) Number of Votes % of Votes
Dawda Jawara (PPP) 117,549 58.48%
Sheriff Mustapha Dibba (NCP) 44,639 22.21%
Assan Musa Camara (GPP) 16,287 8.10%
Lamin Bojang (PDP) 11,999 5.97%
Sidia Jatta (PDOIS) 10,543 5.24%
 
29 April 1992 House of Representatives Election

Registered Voters

400,000 (approx.)

Total Votes (Voter Turnout)

223,200 (approx. 56%)

Invalid/Blank Votes

Not Available

Total Valid Votes

201,095

Party Number of Votes % of Votes Number of Seats (36)*
People's Progressive Party (PPP) 109,059 54.23% 25
National Convention Party (NCP) 48,845 24.29% 6
Gambian People's Party (GPP) 13,937 6.93% 2
People's Democratic Party (PDP) 9,291 4.62% -
People's Democratic Organisation for Independence and Socialism (PDOIS) 4,632 2.30% -
Independents 15,331 7.62% 3
*36 members were directly elected; an additional 8 were appointed by the President. There were also 5 Chiefs’ representatives and the Attorney general who was an ex-officio member.
 
8 August 1996 Constitutional Referendum
Main Points: Parliamentary Republic, Division of Powers, Lowering age of voter eligibility from 21 to 18

Registered Voters

447,062

Total Votes (Voter Turnout)

Not Available (85.9%)

Invalid/Blank Votes

Not Available

Total Valid Votes

383,937

Results Number of Votes % of Votes
"Yes" Votes 270,193 70.37%
"No" Votes 113,744 29.63%
 
26 September 1996 Presidential Election [Results by Administrative Area]

Registered Voters

446,541

Total Votes (Voter Turnout)

394,537 (88.4%)

Invalid/Blank Votes

         43 [See Note Below]

Total Valid Votes

394,494

Candidate (Party) Number of Votes % of Votes
Yahya Jammeh (APRC) 220,011 55.77%
Ousainou Darboe (UDP) 141,387 35.84%
Hamat Bah (NRP) 21,759 5.52%
Sidia Jatta (PDOIS) 11,337 2.87%
 
2 January 1997 National Assembly Election

Registered Voters

420,507

Total Votes (Voter Turnout)

307,856 (73.2%)

Invalid/Blank Votes

           0 [See Note Below]

Total Valid Votes

307,856

Party Number of Votes % of Votes Number of Seats (45)*
Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC) 160,470 52.13% 33
United Democratic Party (UDP) 104,568 33.97% 7
National Reconciliation Party (NRP) 6,639 2.16% 2
People's Democratic Organisation for Independence and Socialism (PDOIS) 24,272 7.88% 1
Independents 11,907 3.86% 2
*45 members were directly elected; an additional 4 members were appointed by the President.
 
18 October 2001 Presidential Election

Registered Voters

509,301

Total Votes (Voter Turnout)

Not Available (approx. 90%)

Invalid/Blank Votes

Not Available

Total Valid Votes

458,533

Candidate (Party) [Coalition] Number of Votes % of Votes
Yahya Jammeh (APRC) 242,302 52.84%
Ousainou Darboe (UDP) [UDP-PPP-GPP] 149,448 32.59%
Hamat Bah (NRP) 35,671 7.78%
Sheriff Mustapha Dibba (NCP) 17,271 3.77%
Sidia Jatta (PDOIS) 13,841 3.02%
 
17 January 2002 National Assembly Election*

Registered Voters

167,817**

Total Votes (Voter Turnout)

  94,621** (56.4%)

Invalid/Blank Votes

         35** [See Note Below]

Total Valid Votes

  94,586**

Party Number of Seats (48)***
Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC) 45
People's Democratic Organisation for Independence and Socialism (PDOIS) 2
National Reconciliation Party (NRP) 1
*Boycotted by the main opposition United Democratic Party (UDP) and several smaller parties.
**Voter figures exclude the 33 constituencies where the ruling Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC) ran unopposed. 
***48 members were directly elected, an additional 5 members were appointed by the President.
 
22 September 2006 Presidential Election [Results by Administrative Area]

Registered Voters

670,336

Total Votes (Voter Turnout)

Not Available (approx. 59%)

Invalid/Blank Votes

Not Available

Total Valid Votes

392,685

Candidate (Party) [Coalition] Number of Votes % of Votes
Yahya Jammeh (APRC) 264,404 67.33%
Ousainou Darboe (UDP) [ARC] 104,808 26.69%
Halifa Sallah (PDOIS) [NADD] 23,473 5.98%
 
25 January 2007 National Assembly Election

Registered Voters

628,160

Total Votes (Voter Turnout)

261,974 (41.7%)

Party/[Coalition] Number of Seats (48)*
Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC) 42
United Democratic Party (UDP) 4
National Alliance for Democracy and Development [NADD] 1
Independents 1
*48 members were directly elected, an additional 5 members were appointed by the President.
 
24 November 2011 Presidential Election

Registered Voters

796,929

Total Votes (Voter Turnout)

657,904 (82.6%)

Invalid/Blank Votes

Not Available

Total Valid Votes

657,787

Candidate (Party) [Coalition] Number of Votes % of Votes
Yahya Jammeh (APRC) 470,550 71.54%
Ousainou Darboe (UDP) [UDP-GMC-PPP-NCP] 114,177 17.36%
Hamat Bah* [UF] 73,060 11.11%
*Hamat Bah ran as an independent candidate supported by the United Front (UF) coalition.
 
29 March 2012 National Assembly Election*

Registered Voters

308,489**

Total Votes (Voter Turnout)

Not Available (approx. 50%)

Invalid/Blank Votes

Not Available

Total Valid Votes

154,950**

Party Number of Votes % of Votes Number of Seats (48)***
Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC) 80,289 51.82% 43
National Reconciliation Party (NRP) 14,606 9.43% 1
Independents 60,055 38.76% 4
*The election was boycotted by most of the opposition.
**Voter figures exclude the 25 constituencies where the ruling Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC) ran unopposed.
***48 members were directly elected, an additional 5 members are appointed by the President.
 
Note: The reason for low numbers of invalid votes during elections in the Second Republic (1996-Present) are due to the country’s unusual voting method that uses marbles called ballot tokens, which are inserted by the voter into a hole in a spout attached to the ballot drum of their choice. Very few, if any, tokens are rejected. This method was also used during elections held in the First Republic (1965-1994).