A former security guard from North London, Adama Barrow, has defeated longtime president of Gambia, Yahya Jammeh, in the presidential poll.
Jammeh, who had ruled Gambia for 22 years, had pledged to rule for a billion years.
The chairman of the electoral commission had announced that Jammeh had conceded defeated and would make an announcement to that effect.
“It’s really unique that someone who has been ruling this country for so long has accepted defeat,” Alieu Momar Njie told reporters.
Gambian state television told AFP that the 51-year-old head of state, who seized power in a coup in 1994, would make a statement later in the day to congratulate Barrow.
Jammeh was running for a fifth term with his Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC), while Barrow ran for eight political groups who united for the first time to field a single candidate.
Barrow, a previously unknown businessman, once worked as a security guard at Argos on Holloway Road, North London.
On Thursday, after voting with his wife in the capital, Banjul, President Jammeh predicted a decisive win.
“This will be the biggest landslide in the history of the country,” he said, but Barrow correctly predicted Gambians were ready for change after more than 20 years of the Jammeh regime.
“He is not going to be re-elected – his era is finished,” Barrow said.
Jammeh came to power in a coup in 1994 and then swept elections in 1996, 2001, 2006 and 2011 after a 2002 constitutional amendment removed presidential term limits.
Critics say those elections were not free and fair and accused his regime of corruption and flagrant human rights abuses.
Reports from thetelegraph.co.uk