Officially: Republic of the Gambia.
Seat of government: Banjul.
Status: Semi-democratic.
Structure: The president is directly elected. The legislature was installed during the previous dictatorship.
Governing party:
Head of government: Adama Barrow, president.
Chief opposition party: United Democratic Party, led by Ousainou Darboe.
Recent history: Previous ruler Yahya Jammeh (1994-2017) took power in a coup against ruler Dawda Jawara (1962-94). Jammeh then engineered four supposed election victories for himself (1996, 2001, 2006, 2011). He did eventually rescinded a ban on political parties and politicians from the Jawara government. But the UDP was constantly harassed, its supporters and leaders arrested, and prohibited by police from holding public meetings. In 2000, Darboe, twenty-three colleagues, and a journalist were charged with the murder of a government supporter; Darboe was not acquitted until 2005. In 2016, a united opposition under Barrow contested a presidential election against Jammeh and won; Jammeh initially accepted, then rejected his loss. He was removed from power by the threat of and partial invasion by the Economic Community of West African States.
FH: 6-6, not free. Econ: 3.31 (134), authoritarian.
Updated: 2017 January 22.