The Gambia is one of Africa’s smallest countries. Unlike many of its regional neighbours; The Gambia has enjoyed long spells of stability since independence. The incumbent, President Yahya Jammeh seized power in a bloodless coup in 1994 and has ruled with an iron fist ever since.
However, stability has not translated into prosperity. Despite the presence of the Gambia River, which runs through the middle of the country, only one-sixth of the land is arable and poor soil quality has led to the predominance of one crop – peanuts. Most households in the country are sustained through money sent home by Gambians living abroad.
|Type of Government: Presidential
|Head of State: Yahya Jammeh|
|Independence Day: February 18, 1965|
|Opposition Parties: Leader of the Opposition Coalition, Adama Barrow from the United Democratic Party (UDP),
|Ruling Party: Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC)|
|Press Freedom: Although Article 25 of the constitution provides for freedom of expression and of the press, the government does not respect these rights in practice. Defamation is a criminal offense, as is sedition and the dissemination of false information. The Information and Communications Act was amended in 2013 to introduce a 15-year jail term and a fine of 3 million dalasi ($77,000) for anyone using the internet to spread false news or make derogatory statements, incite dissatisfaction, or instigate violence against the government or public officials. There are broad restrictions on any content that is considered contrary to the principles of Islam or offensive to other religions.|
Previous Election results: 24 November 2011 Presidential Election
 Africa News. Gambian opposition parties pick leader to unseat Yaya Jammeh. Available at: http://www.africanews.com/2016/10/31/gambian-opposition-parties-pick-leader-to-unseat-yaya-jammeh/. Accessed: 30 November 2016.
 Freedom House. The Gambia. 2016. Available at: https://freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-press/2015/gambia. Accessed:29 November 2016.