United Democratic Party (Gambia)

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The United Democratic Party is a political party in the Gambia, founded in 1996 by the human rights lawyer Ousainou Darboe. As a candidate in the presidential election of 18 October 2001, he came second with 32.6% of the popular vote; he took second place again in the 22 September 2006 presidential election with 26.7% of the vote. The 17 January 2002 parliamentary election was boycotted by the party. In the 25 January 2007 parliamentary election, the party won four out of 48 seats.[1]

In 2005 UDP joined the opposition National Alliance for Democracy and Development which only lasted for a short term due to differences in opinion among the various leaders of the opposition. The UDP is the most popular opposition party in the Gambia, polling nearly 35% and 27% of the votes in the 2001 and 2006 Gambian presidential elections respectively (BBC News). However, due to suspicion of unfair voting practices the leader of UDP has declared openly that he is not willing to accept the results of the 2006 presidential election.

The motto of the United Democratic Party is Justice, Peace and Progress, and the party flag is bright yellow in color with a unity handshake depicted in the center (UDP Manifesto). The party practices two methods of memberships: a) individual and b) affiliate consisting of farmers' groups, trade unions, culture groups and youth groups etc.

The executive members of UDP include Yaya Jallow, Ebraima Manneh, Amadou Taal, Lawyer Mariam Denton and Momodou N Shyngle Nyassi, among others.

There have been widespread reports in the Gambia of torture and arrests of UDP stalwarts who claim to fight against an authoritarian government led by President Yahya Jammeh of the ruling APRC party (IRIN News).[citation needed]

Since 2012, the UDP has been an associate member of the Socialist International.


  1. ^ Elections in the Gambia, African Elections Database.

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