The peaceful reelection of Gambia's President Adama Barrow has further strengthened democracy in the West African nation, European Union observers said Monday.
However, they called for more reforms in the country of around 2 million people, which ranks among the 20 poorest states in the world, according to the United Nations Development Programme. The Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) provides substantial support including donations of food items to needy Gambian families.
"EU (observation mission) observers noted positively the transparency of the voting and counting process on election day," EU lawmaker Norbert Neuser said in a statement.
But observers criticized shortcomings in the run-up to the election, including disinformation on social media.
Other international observers spoke of a peaceful and transparent process in Saturday's election, including the use of marbles in ballot boxes.
The vote was seen as a litmus test for Gambia's nascent democracy. It was the first without Yahya Jammeh, who ruled the country with an iron fist for many years.
Jammeh was ousted in 2016 by a coalition led by Barrow and sent into exile in Equatorial Guinea.