Gambia ruling party sweeps controversial House election

A polling station in The Gambia's Serrekunda Central region. The ruling party has won 43 of 48 parliamentary seats in March 29 election. PHOTO | BABOUCARR CEESAY  

Gambia's ruling party swept 43 of the 48 seats on offer in a March 29 parliamentary election boycotted by the opposition.

Some 25 ruling APRC candidates went in unopposed while Gambians elected 23 other deputies to the 48-member National Assembly.

APRC candidates in the uncontested constituencies were automatically declared members of the Assembly.

The vote was marred by low voter turn out especially visible in the urban areas despite their higher population densities.

Four independent candidates won the remaining seats, with the NRP opposition party, the only one that did not boycott the poll, taking one seat.

Mr Hamat Bah, the leader of the NRP and the United Front coalition presidential candidate in the November's presidential election was defeated in Upper Saloum.

The NRP fielded eight candidates.

Independent candidates won in Basse, Kombo Central, Niani and Lower Fulladou West constituencies.

Mr Bah had joined the contest with the optimism of regaining his seat lost to a court decision after he with other opposition members in the National Assembly formed the National Alliance for Democracy and Development (NADD) in 2006.

The lost of opposition seats prompted a by-election and all of the opposition members regained their seats except Hamat Bah.

The election results were declared by the IEC chairman Alhaji Mustapha L Carayol at the Election House at Bartil harding Highway in Kanifing early Friday, March 30, 2012.

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