Gambia's President Adama Barrow. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra

The Gambia’s incumbent president Adama Barrow appeared on course for re-election Sunday, as partial results from most districts placed him in the lead after Saturday’s crucial polls for the young democracy.

Barrow, who ousted dictator Yahya Jammeh five years ago, is well ahead of his main challenger Ousainou Darboe in results published in the afternoon by the electoral commission for almost 40 districts, out of 53 nationwide.

Nearly 1 million registered voters were expected to drop marbles into one of six ballot bins, each adorned with the face and name of a candidate.

The candidates include incumbent President Adama Barrow, who defeated Jammeh in 2016 as an opposition leader.

Independent Electoral Commission presiding officer Musa Mbye told journalists that there were no major problems during the vote.

The commission Chair Alieu Mommar Njie said election results would be announced by Monday.

All the presidential candidates vowed to strengthen the country’s tourism-dependent economy amid the coronavirus pandemic so fewer Gambians feel compelled to travel the dangerous migration route to Europe.

While the 2016 election that removed Jammeh from power after 22 years saw Gambians go from fear to elation, many are still not satisfied with the progress the nation has made.

Many Gambians want certainty that the new leaders will bring the tiny West African nation of about 2.4 million toward peace and justice.

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