Gambian president launches own party after rift with ruling coalition

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GAMBIAN President Adama Barrow earlier this week launched his own political party in the capital, Banjul, confirming what political watchers had predicted for the West African country.

The move frees him from the coalition that helped him win the presidency three years ago in the country. The coalition achieved a shock victory over long-serving Yahya Jammeh, currently exiled in Equatorial Guinea.

The president has formally registered the new party, the National People’s Party (NPP), with the Independent Electoral Commission, making him the leader and secretary of the party.

The announcement comes as relations between Barrow and his former party, the country’s largest party, the United Democratic Party (UDP), have deteriorated. He fired party leader and veep at the time Ousainou Darboe over differences in 2019.

Two weeks ago, thousands of demonstrators demanded that he step down after three years as he pledged in an informal agreement amongst coalition members. The constitution grants him a five-year term.

He was sworn in on January 19 2017, when Yahya Jammeh resigned and went into exile after a regional political-military intervention.

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