The Gambia’s autocratic president, Yahya Jammeh, who once claimed a “billion-year” mandate to rule, has conceded defeat after a shock election loss to a real-estate developer who once worked as a security guard in London.
Jammeh had kept the tiny west African country under an iron grip for more than two decades, and there were fears that the eccentric 51-year-old would use violence or fraud to maintain power.
Instead he became a rare dictator to accept defeat in a democratic election, agreeing to hand power to challenger Adama Barrow, a softly spoken businessman who previously had little public profile.
Barrow told the Guardian that Jammeh had called him to concede defeat with the words: “Congratulations. I’m the outgoing president; you’re the incoming president.”
The father of five used his lack of political baggage to woo voters desperate for change, claiming 45.5% of the vote to Jammeh’s 36.7%. If Jammeh sticks to his word, …
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