Shock and apprehension has greeted many people in Gambia after the President banned internet in the country.
President Yahya Jammeh
It has been reported that the government of Gambia has shutdown Internet and phone lines as at around 8.15 pm (2015 GMT) on the eve of the vote.
Popular private voice and messaging apps such as Whatsapp, Skype and Viber were unreachable without a Virtual Private Network (VPN), software many Gambians use to work around the problem, AFP reported.
This is very bad for many as they cannot be able to relate events of the election online for the public.
President Yahya Jammeh who has ruled the country for 22 years is contesting for the fifth time as he wants to continue ruling a country he took by force through a coup.
Officials reported that the country’s phone and Internet services were cut hours ahead of polling stations opening Thursday in an effort to thwart unrest and the government is yet to say a word about it.
Jammeh is running for a fifth term in office with his ruling Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC).
He faces previously unknown businessman Adama Barrow, chosen as a flagbearer by a group of political parties who have joined forces for the first time and won unprecedented popular support.
Before heading to vote, Barrow told AFP by phone he was confident of victory. “It’s very clear, the writing is on the wall that I’m going to win.”
A third candidate, former ruling party MP Mama Kandeh, is also standing for the Gambian Democratic Congress (GDC).
All three men are 51, born in 1965, the year The Gambia won its independence from Britain.