Sunday, September 24, 2006
Yahya Jammeh, former army lieutenant, has won the presidential election for the third time in a row, voted in by just under 40% of the electorate. There was a lacklustre 59% turnout. Jammeh won 67.3% of the votes, with the two oppostion candidates, Ousainou Darboe and Halifa Sallah getting 27% and 6% respectively. No surprise, in a country with the least free media in West Africa and all significant power in the hands of one person.
Interestingly, The Gambia's traditional musicians are caught up in Gambian power politics. As a recent story by Lucy Fleming on the BBC website shows, they risk being damned if they sing praises and damned if they don't: some of the country's best kora-players – musicians who regularly appear at international music festivals – are obliged to put a positive spin on the country's political leaders in a way that sits uncomfortably with modern democratic principles. Neil Young singing Let's Impeach the President this ain't.
Photo from Mittelbayerische