Seven out of eight opposition parties in The Gambia have collectively rallied behind one leader to unseat President Yahya Jammeh who is seeking a fifth term in office.
The coalition including the country’s first ever female presidential aspirant Isatou Touray on Sunday unanimously elected the leader of the main opposition United Democratic Party (UDP), Adama Barrow, to contest on their behalf in the December 1 presidential election.
51-year-old Barrow, who is a businessman, was elected by 308 opposition delegates polling 68% of votes at a convention in the capital Banjul.
The coalition was formed by all the small parties and the main UDP after signing a memorandum this month to put their “differences aside, in pursuance of the supreme national interest of ousting Jammeh from power”.
Yahya Jammeh, who has ruled Gambia for the past 22 years, was selected in February as the ruling Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC) party’s candidate.
The Gambia’s newly appointed Independent Electoral Commission assured political parties last month that the vote would not be rigged.
Campaigning for the election begins on November 16.