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Banjul Gambians were heading to the polls on Saturday in the first prfrayesidential elections without ousted former head of state Yahya Jammeh contesting them. The elections will be a test for the country’s young democracy with five political parties and one independent candidate vying for a five-year term in the State House in the capital, Banjul. Polls opened in all of the country’s seven regions at 8 am (0800 GMT). The 1,554 polling stations will remain open until 5 pm. Jammeh, who ruled the small West African country with an iron fist, was ousted in 2016 by a coalition led by current president Adama Barrow. Barrow and his National People’s Party (NNP) are on the ballot alongside five opposition parties: the United Democratic Party, Gambia Democratic Congress (GDC), the National Unity Party; the People’s Democratic Organization for Independence and Socialism; and the independent Essa Mbye Faal. All parties have promised to bring change to the country, which suffered under Jammeh’s dictatorial rule. (Agencies)
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