List of heads of state of the Gambia

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Coat of arms of The Gambia.svg
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politics and government of
the Gambia

This is a list of the heads of state of the Gambia, from the independence of the Gambia in 1965 to the present day.

From 1965 to 1970 the head of state under the Gambia Independence Act 1964 was the Monarch, who was the same person as the Monarch of the United Kingdom and of the other Commonwealth realms. The monarch was represented in the Gambia by a Governor-General. The Gambia became a republic under the Constitution of 1971 and the monarch and Governor-General were replaced by an executive President.

Monarch (1965–1970)[edit]

The succession to the throne of Gambia was the same as the succession to the throne of the United Kingdom, governed by the Act of Settlement 1701.

Monarch Reign Royal House Prime Minister(s)
# Portrait Name Reign start Reign end Duration
1 Queen Elizabeth II - 1953-Dress.JPG Queen Elizabeth II
(1926–)
18 February 1965 24 April 1970 5 years, 65 days House of Windsor Jawara

Governors-General[edit]

The Governor-General was the representative of the monarch in the Gambia and exercised most of the powers of the monarch. The Governor-General was appointed for an indefinite term, serving at the pleasure of the monarch. After the passage of the Statute of Westminster 1931, the Governor-General was appointed solely on the advice of the Cabinet of the Gambia without the involvement of the British government. In the event of a vacancy the Chief Justice served as Officer Administering the Government.

Status
  Denotes Chief Justice acting as Officer Administering the Government
Governor-General Term of Office Monarch(s) Prime Minister(s)
# Portrait Name Took Office Left Office Duration
1 No image.png Sir John Warburton Paul
(1916–2004)
18 February 1965 9 February 1966 356 days Elizabeth II Jawara
2 No image.png Sir Farimang Mamadi Singateh
(1912–1977)
9 February 1966 24 April 1970 4 years, 74 days Elizabeth II Jawara

First Republic (1970–1994)[edit]

Under the 1970 Constitution, the first constitution of the Republic of the Gambia, the President replaced the monarch as executive head of state. The President was elected by National Assembly for a -year term. In the event of a vacancy the Vice President served as Acting President.

Status
  Denotes Vice President acting as President
President Term of Office Political Party
(at time of election)
# Portrait Name Took Office Left Office Duration
1 Sir dawda Jawara.gif Sir Dawda Jawara
(1924–)
24 April 1970 22 July 1994
(Deposed)
24 years, 89 days People's Progressive Party

Military rule (1994–1996)[edit]

Colonel Yahya Jammeh led a coup d'état which overthrown the President Jawara and his government, all political parties and Parliament was also dissolved.

Head of State Term of Office Military
# Portrait Name Took Office Left Office Duration
2 Gambia President Yahya Jammeh Portrait.jpg Colonel Yahya Jammeh
(1965–)
22 July 1994 18 September 1996 2 years, 58 days Armed Forces Provisional Ruling Council

Second Republic[edit]

Under the current constitution of the Republic of the Gambia, the President is executive head of state. The President was elected by National Assembly for a -year term. In the event of a vacancy the Vice President served as Acting President.

Status
  Denotes Vice President acting as President
President Term of Office Political Party
(at time of election)
# Portrait Name Took Office Left Office Duration
(2) Gambia President Yahya Jammeh Portrait.jpg Yahya Jammeh
(1965–)
18 October 1996 Incumbent 17 years, 306 days
(as of 20 August 2014)
Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction

Living former heads of state[edit]

Name Term/Reign Office Date of birth
Elizabeth II 1965–1970 Queen of the Gambia 21 April 1926
Sir Dawda Jawara 1970–1994 President of the Gambia 16 May 1924

External links[edit]