GAMBIA (THE)
Parliamentary Chamber: National Assembly

ELECTIONS HELD IN 1997

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Chamber:
  National Assembly


Dates of elections / renewal (from/to):

  2 January 1997


Purpose of elections:

  Elections were held for 45 seats of the new Parliament provided for in the Constitution of August 1996. General elections were previously held in April 1992.


Background and outcome of elections:

  The Parliament elected in April 1992 had been dissolved in July 1994 following the military coup d'Etat that ousted President of the Republic Jawara; the 1970 Constitution was then also suspended. Simultaneously, a ban on political rallies until further notice was imposed.

The polling date was finally set on 8 November after having been postponed several times. The electoral campaign, generally calm, lasted from 10 to 31 December. Altogether, 107 candidates (all men) ran for the 45 elective seats; the ruling Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC) contested every one of these while the main opposition United Democratic Party (UDP), led by Mr. Ousainou Darboe, fielded 34.

On polling day, the ARPC gained more than a two-thirds majority by capturing 33 seats, including five uncontested. This triumph confirmed that of Mr. Yahya Jammeh - who had led the 1994 coup as a 29-year-old Captain - in the presidential poll of the previous September, clearing the way for pursuit of his programme of economic development and fight against corruption. The legislative poll also marked the last stage in the return to civilian government after that for President and the adoption of a new Constitution by referendum in August 1996. On 7 March 1997, President Jammeh appointed a new Cabinet.

STATISTICS
Round no 1 (2 January 1997): Elections results  
Number of registered electors 444,061
Voters 307,856 (69.32%)
Valid votes 307, 856

Round no 1: Distribution of votes  
Political Group Candidates Votes %
Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC) 45 160,470 52.13
United Democratic Party (UDP) 34 104,568 33.97
National Reconciliation Party (NRP) 5 6,639 2.16
People's Democratic Organisation for Independence and Socialism (PDOIS) 17 24,272 7.88
Independents 6 11,907 3.86

Round no 1: Distribution of seats  
Political Group Total
Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC) 33
United Democratic Party (UDP) 7
National Reconciliation Party (NRP) 2
People's Democratic Organisation for Independence and Socialism (PDOIS) 1
Independents 2

Comments:
  These figures refer only to the elected members

Distribution of seats according to sex:  
Men: 48
Women: 1
Percent of women: 1.89

Distribution of seats according to age:  
21-30 years 3
31-40 years 18
41-50 years 18
51-60 years 7
61-70 years 0
Over 70 years 2
Unknown 1


Distribution of seats according to profession:

 
Teachers 14
Agriculture 10
Social workers 4
Technicians 3
Businessmen 3
Builders 2
Others 13


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Copyright 1997 Inter-Parliamentary Union