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The Gambia’s Barrow sworn in for second presidential time period

Adama Barrow guarantees financial progress after he gained re-election final month with 53 p.c of the first-round vote.

Gambian President Adama Barrow has pledged to work to jumpstart the economic system as he was sworn in for a second five-year time period in workplace near the capital, Banjul.

Barrow, 56, got here to energy in 2017 by unseating his predecessor Yahya Jammeh on the polls. He comfortably gained re-election final month with 53 p.c of the first-round vote.

The United Democratic Party of main opposition candidate Ousainou Darboe appealed the election outcomes to the Supreme Court, alleging irregularities and corruption in Barrow’s marketing campaign. The plea was dismissed.

“Today we can comfortably conclude that my election to another five years is a vote of confidence in my government, a vote of acknowledgement of my achievements,” mentioned Barrow, wearing a white cap and gown, after being sworn in on Wednesday earlier than an viewers that included a number of different West African heads of state.

“2022 to 2027 is a period to press on for accelerated growth, expansion and advancement. The focus now centres on economic development,” he mentioned.

He has confronted a problem reviving the economic system of mainland Africa’s smallest nation.

The coronavirus pandemic pushed the economic system into recession in 2020, preserving away vacationers from its white-sand seashores.

However, progress is estimated to have bounced again to about 5 p.c final 12 months.

During his first time period, he improved relations with many overseas nations that had cooled underneath Jammeh’s 22-year tenure and labored to restore civil liberties that had been repressed throughout that interval.

Jammeh was accused by human rights group of presiding over a authorities accused of a litany of abuses, together with loss of life squads and torture.

Al Jazeera’s Nicolas Haque, reporting from Dakar, Senegal, mentioned the swearing-in ceremony was “not only a historic moment for Adama Barrow himself, but also for all Gambians” and that it was seen as a “step forward” for democracy.

“Eight heads of states of the region, almost all of them from West Africa attended this swearing-in ceremony, in a region where there’s been a step back away from democracy – especially in Mali or Guinea,” he added.

Gambia'S President Adama Barrow Walks During His Inauguration Ceremony At The Presidential Palace In Banjul, GambiaGambia’s President Adama Barrow walks throughout his inauguration ceremony on the Presidential Palace in Banjul, Gambia [Reuters]

During the swearing-in ceremony, Barrow reiterated a earlier dedication to introduce a brand new structure. He has beforehand mentioned it might introduce presidential time period limits however has not mentioned whether or not that might stop him from searching for further phrases.

Debates about presidential time period limits have flared in a number of of Gambia’s neighbouring nations, together with Ivory Coast and Guinea, whose presidents in 2020 used constitutional adjustments as reset buttons on their tenures to remain past the two-term restrict.

Barrow had pledged as a candidate in 2016 to serve solely three years if he was elected however later went again on that dedication.

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