Gambian President Yahya Jammeh has won a comfortable victory in his bid for a second term. Near complete returns show the Gambian leader won an outright majority in a presidential election Thursday in which fears of violence and vote rigging did not materialize.
Preliminary results show President Jammeh took 52 percent of the vote, to 33 percent for his main rival, Ousaina Darboe. Four other candidates split the remainder.
Street clashes and the shooting death of two opposition activists in the last two days of campaigning had raised fears that intimidation and vote fraud would mar the election. But the 100 or so international poll-watchers are expected to call his victory legitimate.
Gambians went to the ballot boxes in what international observers say was a generally clean and fair election. Voter turnout, according to observers, was large, with an estimated 80 percent of Gambia's half-million registered voters casting their ballots.
President Jammeh first came to power in a 1994 coup in which he overthrew Gambia's founding leader, Dawda Jawara. He was elected president two years later in an election boycotted by most of the opposition.