With fading memories of the Jammeh administration, Gambians have been reconciling themselves to evolving realities. The parliamentary elections of 2022 attest to the evolution of a new dispensation which has replaced the old order with new political actors. While the populace anxiously looked forward to the implementation of the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (trrc) recommendations, society remained characteristically calm despite occasional cross-border incursions perpetrated by the armed secessionist movement in southern Senegal. After taking his second oath of office, President Adama Barrow seemed to be getting accustomed to the business of governance. Notwithstanding the Freedom House Human Rights Report, there were still cries of alleged unprecedented unwholesome financial practices in high places. The ripple effects of the conflict in Ukraine on the price of essential commodities was being grappled with, coupled with the waning effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Ten years after the July 1994 coup d'etat, The Gambia was mired in a severe political and economic crisis. Perhaps the most severe since independence from Britain in 1965, this politico-economic crisis was precipitated in large part by a combination of factors that were both interrelated and mutually reinforcing: poor governance, endemic corruption, low agricultural productivity, mismanagement, over-borrowing and spending, a weak currency, rampant inflation and rising external debt. A 2004 IMF report expressed grave concern about The Gambia's deteriorating economic situation and noted that data made available by the government had been significantly overstated. The report also identified numerous inaccuracies on expenditure, fiscal balances and credit flows. These anomalies seriously threatened to impede progress on poverty reduction.

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The five-party coalition, the National Alliance for Democracy and Development (NADD), which was formed in 2005 to contest the 2006 presidential elections, disintegrated on 1 February, following Ousainou Darboe's resignation from the executive. Darboe resigned over perceived hostility from other NADD executive members. This was a major disappointment to Gambians, albeit not a surprising one given the differences in political interests, ideology and personality among the leaders of the NADD executive. Another event that had an impact on the presidential election was the allegedly foiled coup attempt on 21 March, which shook the confidence of President Jammeh and his ruling APRC (Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction) to the core. It also set off a wave of arrests and alleged killings of coup leaders and civilian accomplices. Consequently, when elections were advanced to 22 September from their anticipated date in October, President Jammeh won a third five-year term, beating a poorly financed and fragmented coalition. Jammeh's victory was aided by anger and apathy of voters over the NADD's break-up as well as by the benefits of the incumbency. In addition, the run-up to the presidential vote was marred by violence and intimidation of the opposition and its supporters.

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In the 25 January National Assembly elections, President Jammeh once again scored a resounding victory, crushing a splintered and poorly financed opposition. His APRC party (Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction) won 42 of the 48 constituencies, leaving the remaining six to the opposition. Of these, the coalition among the United Democratic Party (UDP), National Reconciliation Party (NRP) and Gambia Party for Democracy and Progress (GPDP) won four, while the National Alliance for Democracy and Development (NADD) and an independent candidate secured one seat each. The APRC's victory over the opposition was made even more remarkable by the failure of Halifa Sallah, NADD's 2006 presidential candidate and a long-time representative of Serrekunda Central, to retain his seat. Hamat Bah, leader of the NRP, was also soundly defeated in his lower Saloum constituency, and a similar fate befell Kemesseng Jammeh (no relation of the president) in Jarra West.

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President Yahya Jammeh and his ruling Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC) continued to dominate the domestic political scene. The year witnessed a thorough cabinet reshuffle. Twenty months after President Jammeh claimed to have discovered a cure for AIDS, antiretroviral treatment was on the increase with fewer people participating in the president's programme. The trial of military officers and civilians accused of participation in the March 2007 alleged foiled coup attempt continued in the courts amid wide concerns of arbitrary judicial procedures. Most of the alleged coup plotters testified in court that they had been tortured and forced to sign statements implicating them in the coup by the state's repressive arm, the National Intelligence Agency (NIA). Foreign relations with the West remained lukewarm, while President Jammeh continued to court and benefit from the friendship and assistance of Iran, Cuba, Venezuela and especially Taiwan.

The year closed with the Gambia National Television broadcast of President Yahya Jammeh's speech to the nation. Jammeh restated honesty, hard work, self-reliance and justice as the founding values of his political vision. A promised 20% increase in government salaries accompanied the ritual call for patriotism. Jammeh announced reforms to improve the efficiency of public administration and criticised civil servants’ corruption and lack of commitment to the public good. Political liberties and civil rights remained under siege. Heavy floods during the rainy season were expected to have compromised the annual agricultural output.

Diplomatic relations between Senegal and Gambia, which were improved by the official visit of Senegal’s President Wade at the beginning of January, had deteriorated again by the end of the year after the discovery in Nigeria of an arms cache coming from Iran and presumably destined for Gambia. Senegal suspected the weapons were meant for the Casamance rebel movement. Gambian denials, together with the immediate severing of all diplomatic ties with Iran, did not resolve the dispute. The second marriage of President Yaya Jammeh, and polemics about the 2011 forthcoming elections, including rumours of Jammeh’s intention to be crowned king, boosted debates on the role played by national and diaspora media. Strict regime censorship continued as usual, and lack of political liberties and civil rights restricted citizens’ capacity to develop a sound political alternative.

On 24 November, Yaya Jammeh, president since 1996, was re-elected for another five-year term, having received 72% of the votes. This happened in the midst of growing international concern over Jammeh’s involvement in arms and drug-trafficking and over the country’s poor human rights record. Throughout the year, Gambian on-line media based abroad spread rumours about Jammeh’s divorce from his second wife, his assumed pancreatic cancer, and his connections with the arms dealer Victor Bout, but without in any way undermining his firm grip on the country. Relations with Senegal were tense during the first part of 2011, following an arms scandal with Iran in the latter part of 2010. Drought led to dramatic crop failure and the increased economic vulnerability of large sections of the population.

On 23 August, firing squads executed nine of the 46 inmates on death row at the Miles 2 Prison in the capital, Banjul. President Yaya Jammeh had announced his decision to carry out all the death sentences during his annual televised meeting with Muslim elders at the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. Civil society organisations, AI, the EU and ECOWAS promptly asked for a suspension of the remaining executions, which was granted on 15 September on condition that the country’s crime rate would stop rising. The economy continued to suffer from the European downturn and from the poor harvest of 2011. In April, the government declared a national food crisis and appealed for international support.