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Last Updated: Saturday, 23 September 2006, 18:12 GMT 19:12 UK
Gambian president is re-elected
President Yahya Jammeh
President Jammeh predicted a landslide win for himself
Gambian voters have re-elected President Yahya Jammeh for a third term with 67.3% of the vote, the country's electoral commission has said.

Chairman Alhagie Mustapha Carayol announced the result and declared President Jammeh the winner of Friday's poll in an announcement on state radio.

Main opposition candidate Ousainou Darboe secured 27% of the vote, while Halifa Sallah received 6%.

Voter turnout was about 59%, lower than in Gambia's last presidential election.

Due to a high level of illiteracy, voters used marbles to vote rather than ballot papers, inserting a marble into the drum representing their candidate.

Some 670,000 Gambians are registered to vote out of a population of 1.6 million.

Ousainou Darboe - UDP - Yellow drum
Yahya Jammeh - APRC - Green drum
Halifa Sallah - Nadd -
Grey drum

Registered voters: 670,000
Polling stations: 989

After casting his vote on Friday, President Jammeh had said he was confident of victory.

"I am sure I am going to win with a landslide victory," he said.

"Even the birds know that I am going to win because I have done so much for this country."

Election brought forward

Mr Jammeh came to power in a coup 12 years ago and won a second term in office in 2001 with 53% of votes cast.

Mr Darboe - the leader of the United Democratic Party (UDP) - was Mr Jammeh's main rival in the last election, taking 33% of the vote.

The opposition had intended to field one candidate, but earlier in the year Mr Darboe's UDP and several other parties pulled out of the National Alliance for Democracy and Development (Nadd) led by Mr Sallah.

Gambia has been relatively stable since the coup in 1994, but Mr Jammeh's administration has come under increasing criticism for arresting opposition activists.

Mr Jammeh, whose Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC) party's election slogan was "vote for peace and prosperity", has promised to continue his programme of development.

Voting day was brought forward from October so as not to coincide with the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.


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