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Gambia’s new president promises justice for all

media Adama Barrow pulled off a stunning win by defeating Yahya Jammeh in last week's presidential election. REUTERS/ Thierry Gouegnon

The president-elect of the Gambia, Adama Barrow, has said that during his term in office the Gambia’s economy and legal system will have to be reformed. Barrow told RFI in an exclusive interview that what was needed was “an overhaul of basically everything in the government.”

Opposition candidate Barrow pulled off a sensational victory by comfortably winning the presidential election and putting an end to the 22-year rule of Yahya Jammeh.

Barrow won 54.54 per cent while Jammeh took 36.66 percent of the vote in the Thursday poll.

The 51-year-old Barrow was chosen as the opposition leader by a group of political parties who had joined forces for the first time.

Speaking to RFI’s Guillaume Thibault in the capital Banjul, he termed his win a revolution.

“It’s the victory of the people. People were ready to make the change. And with their determination and perseverance, it was possible. The impossible is possible today."

Promising freedom of the press and an independent judiciary, Barrow said the new Gambia was a free Gambia. “New Gambia is a Gambia that is ready to work, ready to cooperate with everybody,” he said.

As well as a free country, Barrow promised justice.

“Free in the sense that we want to bring a level playing field, free judiciary.”

“Media will be open so that people will get information. If you get information you get enlightened. If people are enlightened, the country develops,” he said.

Speaking about his priorities on assuming office, Barrow said that getting his cabinet in place was on the top of the list.

“That cabinet will start work very soon (…) We want to start from reform. We have to reform things (…) a lot of things. There are a lot of bad laws here. Economic reform. Judiciary. It’s an overhaul of basically almost everything in government.”

“Twenty-two years is a long time,” he said.

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