Gambia’s President Adama Barrow’s party from which he resigned to lead the country’s unity government was unable to win a super majority to have bills passed without seeking support from other members of parliament.
Of 53 seats, the UDP won 31 and at least a two-third majority is needed to win a super majority. At least 66.67% of parliamentarians must vote for a bill to have an overwhelming support.
With Barrow likely appointing five Members of Parliament, UDP will need to swing at least one vote, which will likely come from the only independent candidate, Muhammed Magassy of Basse.
Gambia’s former President Yahya Jammeh did not have to worry about a majority. During his 22-year rule, his APRC party maintained a super majority.
The autocratic ruler often bypassed the parliament and uses executive orders and presidential decrees to run the small nation.
It is the first time in the Gambia’s history that a particular party, especially one backed by the president did not have a super majority in the House of Representative.
Pro-democracy activists are calling on Barrow not to appoint anyone to the parliament and have that part of the legislative law repealed as part of the country’s constitutional reform.
This is the first major vote for the Gambia since the unceremonious departure of Jammeh. The turnout for the election was low. Only 42% of some 800,000 voters cast their ballot, electoral chief, Alieu Mommar Njai said.