Barrow
Gambia President Adama Barrow

By Ogbolu George

Gambian President Adama Barrow’s United Democratic Party (UDP) on Thursday won the parliamentary polls, taking 31 seats in the 53-members parliament, the electoral commission announced Friday.

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Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Constitution (APRC), the party of former President Yahya Jammeh, came second with  the Gambia Democratic Congress.

Both political parties took five seats each in the parliament.

A new parliament election was seen as a key step towards establishing a democracy after more than 20 years of Jammeh’s autocratic rule in the small West African nation.

The election, the country’s first election since Jammeh went into a forced exile in January, saw 239 candidates from nine political parties competing for 48 seats in the national assembly.

Barrow, who took power on Jan. 19, would appoint five additional parliamentarians.

It was hoped that the legislative poll will provide Gambia with a functional national assembly that will help amend the wrongs committed during the last regime.