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Gambia, The
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Government

Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of The Gambia
conventional short form: The Gambia

Data code: GA

Government type: republic under multiparty democratic rule

Capital: Banjul

Administrative divisions: 5 divisions and 1 city*; Banjul*, Lower River, Central River, North Bank, Upper River, Western

Independence: 18 February 1965 (from UK); note - The Gambia and Senegal signed an agreement on 12 December 1981 that called for the creation of a loose confederation to be known as Senegambia, but the agreement was dissolved on 30 September 1989

National holiday: Independence Day, 18 February (1965)

Constitution: 24 April 1970; suspended July 1994; rewritten and approved by national referendum 8 August 1996; reestablished in January 1997

Legal system: based on a composite of English common law, Koranic law, and customary law; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state: President Yahya A. J. J. JAMMEH (since 12 October 1996); Vice President Isatou Njie SAIDY (since 20 March 1997); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Yahya A. J. J. JAMMEH (since 18 October 1996); Vice President Isatou Njie SAIDY (since 20 March 1997); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
cabinet: Cabinet is appointed by the president
elections: the president is elected by popular vote for a five-year term; the number of terms is not restricted; election last held 26 September 1996 (next to be held NA 2001)
election results: Yahya A. J. J. JAMMEH elected president; percent of vote - Yahya A. J. J. JAMMEH 55.8%, Ousainou DARBOE 35.8%

Legislative branch: unicameral National Assembly (49 seats; 45 elected by popular vote, 4 appointed by the president; members serve five-year terms)
elections: last popular election held 2 January 1997 (next to be held NA 2002)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - APRC 33, UDP 7, NRP 2, PDOIS 1, independents 2

Judicial branch: Supreme Court

Political parties and leaders: Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction or APRC [Yahya A. J. J. JAMMEH]; National Reconciliation Party or NRP [Hamat N. K. BAH]; People's Democratic Organization for Independence and Socialism or PDOIS [Sidia JATTA]; United Democratic Party or UDP [Ousainou DARBOE]
note: in August 1996 the government banned the following from participation in the elections of 1996: People's Progressive Party or PPP [former President Dawda K. JAWARA (in exile)], and two opposition parties - the National Convention Party or NCP [former Vice President Sheriff DIBBA] and the Gambian People's Party or GPP [Hassan Musa CAMARA]

International organization participation: ACP, AfDB, C, CCC, ECA, ECOWAS, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat (nonsignatory user), Interpol, IOC, ITU, NAM, OAU, OIC, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador John P. BOJANG
chancery: Suite 1000, 1155 15th Street NW, Washington, DC 20005
telephone: [1] (202) 785-1399
FAX: [1] (202) 785-1430

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador George W. HALEY
embassy: Fajara, Kairaba Avenue, Banjul
mailing address: P. M. B. No. 19, Banjul
telephone: [220] 392856, 392858, 391970, 391971
FAX: [220] 392475

Flag description: three equal horizontal bands of red (top), blue with white edges, and green



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