United Democratic Party (The Gambia)

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United Democratic Party
LeaderOusainou Darboe
IdeologySocial liberalism
Liberal democracy
Political positionCentre[1] to Centre-left
International affiliationSocialist International (consultative)
National Assembly
31 / 58

The United Democratic Party (abbr. UDP) is a political party in the Gambia, founded in 1996 by 3 political parties (the then-banned PPP, NCP and GPP) and choose the human rights lawyer, freedom fighter, and "Gambian Mandela" ANM Ousainou Darboe to be the party leader and Secretary General. 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.[2]

After Darboe was jailed in April 2016 for his political activities in opposition to the ruling government of Yahyah Jammeh[3] and his Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction party, the previous UDP treasurer Adama Barrow was selected as its leader and candidate for the 2016 presidential election. The UDP then became part of the opposition alliance known as Coalition 2016, a group of seven political parties, and the Coalition endorsed Barrow as its candidate. Barrow officially resigned from the party to allow him to run as a formally independent candidate endorsed by the Coalition. Barrow then won the election in a surprise victory. When Jammeh refused to accept the election result, he was forced from office by a regional military intervention, and when Barrow took office, Darboe was released from prison.

Electoral history[edit]

Presidential elections[edit]

Election Party candidate Votes % Result
1996 Ousainou Darboe 141,387 35.84% Lost Red XN
2001 149,448 32.59% Lost Red XN
2006 104,808 26.7% Lost Red XN
2011 114,177 17.4% Lost Red XN
2016 Adama Barrow 227,708 43.3% Elected Green tickY

National Assembly elections[edit]

Election Votes % Seats +/– Position Government
1997 104,568 33.97%
7 / 49
Increase 7 Increase 2nd Opposition
2002 Boycotted
0 / 53
Decrease 7 Opposition
2007 57,545 21.8%
4 / 53
Increase 4 Increase 2nd Opposition
2012 Boycotted
0 / 53
Decrease 4 Opposition
2017 142,146 37.47
31 / 58
Increase 31 Increase 1st UDP majority


  1. ^ Derbyshire, J. Denis; Derbyshire, Ian (2016). Encyclopedia of World Political Systems. Routledge. p. 112. ISBN 9781317471561. Retrieved 14 December 2019.
  2. ^ Elections in the Gambia, African Elections Database.
  3. ^ "Gambia opposition leader jailed". BBC News. 21 July 2016.