Political News

Gambia polls open as internet, phone service cut

Posted 4:26 a.m. Thursday

— Voters in the tiny West African nation of Gambia are taking part in an election widely expected to keep the country's ruler of more than two decades in power.

The opposition has attempted to mount a unified effort against longtime President Yahya Jammeh, though he has vowed not to allow protests of any kind.

The country's phone and Internet services were cut hours ahead of polling stations opening Thursday in an effort to thwart unrest.

Voters are using marbles — placing them into green, silver and purple ballot drums depending on whom they are backing.

Observers from the European Union and the West African regional bloc ECOWAS are not attending the vote, though the African Union sent a handful of observers to this country of 1.9 million.

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