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The Gambia: Government#

Country nameconventional long form: Republic of The Gambia
conventional short form: The Gambia
CapitalBanjul Banjul
geographic coordinates: 13 27 N, 16 34 W
time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions5 divisions and 1 city*; Banjul*, Central River, Lower River, North Bank, Upper River, Western
Constitutionprevious 1970; latest adopted 8 April 1996, approved by referendum 8 August 1996, effective 16 January 1997; amended several times, last in 2009 (2009)
Executive branchchief of state: President Yahya JAMMEH (since 18 October 1996); note - from 1994 to 1996 he was chairman of the junta; Vice President Isatou NJIE-SAIDY (since 20 March 1997); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Yahya JAMMEH (since 18 October 1996); Vice President Isatou NJIE-SAIDY (since 20 March 1997)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (no term limits); election last held on 24 November 2011 (next to be held in 2016)
election results: Yahya JAMMEH reelected president; percent of vote - Yahya JAMMEH 71.5%, Ousainou DARBOE 17.4%, Hamat BAH 11.1%
Flag descriptionthree equal horizontal bands of red (top), blue with white edges, and green; red stands for the sun and the savannah, blue represents the Gambia River, and green symbolizes forests and agriculture; the white stripes denote unity and peace
Independence18 February 1965 (from the UK)
Judicial branchhighest court(s): Supreme Court of The Gambia (consists of the chief justice and 6 other justices); note - court sessions held with 5 justices
judge selection and term of office: justices appointed by the president after consultation with the Judicial Service Commission, a 6-member independent body of high-level judicial officials, a presidential appointee, and a National Assembly appointee; justices appointed for life or until mandatory retirement age
subordinate courts: Court of Appeal; High Court; Special Criminal Court; Khadis or Muslim courts; district tribunals; magistrates courts
Legal systemmixed legal system of English common law, Islamic law, and customary law
Legislative branchunicameral National Assembly (53 seats; 48 members elected by popular vote, 5 appointed by the president; members to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held on 29 March 2012 (next to be held in 2017)
election results: percent of vote by party - APRC 51.8%, independents 38.8%, NRP 9.4%; seats by party - APRC 43, independents 4, NRP 1
note: except for the NRP, all opposition parties boycotted the 29 March 2012 legislative elections
International organization participationACP, AfDB, AU, ECOWAS, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MINUSMA, NAM, OIC, OPCW, UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNMIL, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
National holidayIndependence Day, 18 February (1965)
Political pressure groups and leadersNational Environment Agency or NEA
West African Peace Building Network-Gambian Chapter or WANEB-GAMBIA
Youth Employment Network Gambia or YENGambia
other: special needs group advocates; teachers and principals
Political parties and leadersAlliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction or APRC (Yahya JAMMEH) (the ruling party)
Gambia People's Democratic Party or GPDP (Henry GOMEZ)
National Alliance for Democracy and Development or NADD (Halifa SALLAH)
National Convention Party or NCP (Sheriff DIBBA)
National Reconciliation Party or NRP (Hamat BAH)
People's Democratic Organization for Independence and Socialism or PDOIS (Halifa SALLAH)
United Democratic Party or UDP (Ousainou DARBOE)
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
Government typerepublic
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Baboucarr JALLOW (since 25 June 2013)
chancery: Suite 240, Georgetown Plaza, 2233 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20007
telephone: (1) (202) 785-1379, 1399, 1425
FAX: (1) (202) 342-0240
National anthemname: "For The Gambia, Our Homeland"
lyrics/music: Virginia Julie HOWE/adapted by Jeremy Frederick HOWE
note: adopted 1965; the music is an adaptation of the traditional Mandinka song "Foday Kaba Dumbuya"
International law organization participationaccepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
National symbol(s)lion
Diplomatic representation from the USchief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Michael ARIETTI (since 2014)
embassy: Kairaba Avenue, Fajara, Banjul
mailing address: P. M. B. No. 19, Banjul
telephone: (220) 439-2856, 437-6169, 437-6170
FAX: (220) 439-2475