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POPULIST MOVEMENT #'PEOPLE POWER' CRUSHED DICTATOR YAHYA JAMMEH: SHOCK WIN FOR FORMER NORTH

Property developer Adama Barrow pictured with supporters at one of his campaign event.

Yahya Jammeh, the president of Gambia, has been defeated in his bid for re-election, according to results made public on Friday. It is a stunning turn for a nation that has lived for more than two decades under what human rights groups have described as a repressive regime.

Adama Barrow, a real estate company owner, was declared the winner a day after voters cast ballots, in an upset victory that astonished observers.

In a concession speech broadcast on state television on Friday night, Mr. Jammeh, one of Africa’s most eccentric leaders, calmly accepted his loss.

“I told you, Gambians, that I will not question the outcome of the results and will accept it,” he said. “I did not wish to contest or find out why they did not vote for me. I leave that with God.”

Mr. Jammeh’s whereabouts on Friday was unknown, and speculation was rampant that he had fled the country.

People celebrated in the streets, calling it a new era for the West African nation.

“We have our country back,” shouted Modu Ceesay, a taxi driver who took his shirt off and waved it furiously over his head. “This is our country, and now we have it.”

President Yahya Jammeh’s defeat is a rare turn for the crop of longtime African leaders who have amassed so much power — and often, wealth — through decades of incumbency and corruption that they sometimes manage to stay in office until death. Other so-called leaders for life have interfered with elections to cling to power.

Jammeh had himself been accused of keeping power by rigging elections in the past.

Defeated dictator Yahya Jammeh

Gambian people celebrating Adama Barrow's election victory