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This is a list of the heads of state of the Gambia, from the independence of the Gambia in 1965 to the present day.

From 1965 to 1970 the head of state under the Gambia Independence Act 1964 was the queen of the Gambia, Elizabeth II, who was also the monarch of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms. The queen was represented in the Gambia by a governor-general. The Gambia became a republic in 1970 and the monarch and governor-general were replaced by an executive president.

Monarch (1965–1970)

The succession to the throne was the same as the succession to the British throne.

Portrait Monarch
(Birth–Death)
Reign Royal House Prime Minister
Reign start Reign end Duration
1 Queen Elizabeth II in March 2015.jpg Queen Elizabeth II
(1926–)
18 February 1965 24 April 1970 5 years, 65 days Windsor Jawara

Governor-general

The governor-general was the representative of the monarch in the Gambia and exercised most of the powers of the monarch. The governor-general was appointed for an indefinite term, serving at the pleasure of the Monarch. The governor-general was appointed solely on the advice of the Cabinet of the Gambia without the involvement of the British government. In the event of a vacancy the chief justice served as Officer Administering the Government.

Status
  Denotes Chief Justice acting as Officer Administering the Government
Portrait Governor-General
(Birth–Death)
Term of office Monarch Prime Minister
Took office Left office Time in office
1 No image.png Sir John Paul
(1916–2004)
18 February 1965 9 February 1966 356 days Elizabeth II Jawara
2 No image.png Sir Farimang Mamadi Singateh
(1912–1977)
9 February 1966 24 April 1970 4 years, 74 days Elizabeth II Jawara

First Republic (1970–1994)

Under the 1970 Constitution, the first constitution of the Republic of the Gambia, the president replaced the monarch as executive head of state. The president was elected by the National Assembly for a five-year term. In the event of a vacancy the vice-president served as acting president.

Status
  Denotes Vice-President acting as President
No. Portrait President
(Birth–Death)
Elected Term of office Political party
Took office Left office Time in office
1 Dawda Jawara (1979).jpg Sir Dawda Jawara
(1924–2019)
1972
1977
1982
1987
1992
24 April 1970 22 July 1994
(deposed.)
24 years, 89 days People's Progressive Party

Military rule (1994–1996)

Colonel Yahya Jammeh led a coup d'état which overthrew President Jawara and his government, all political parties and Parliament were dissolved.

No. Portrait Head of State
(Birth–Death)
Term of office Military
Took office Left office Time in office
2 Gambia President Yahya Jammeh.jpg Colonel Yahya Jammeh
(1965–)
22 July 1994 18 October 1996 2 years, 88 days Armed Forces Provisional Ruling Council

Second Republic (1996–present)

Under the current constitution of the Republic of the Gambia, the president is executive head of state. The president is elected by popular vote for a five-year term. In the event of a vacancy, the vice-president will serve as acting president.

Status
  Denotes Vice-President acting as President
No. Portrait President
(Birth–Death)
Elected Term of office Political party
Took office Left office Time in office
(2) Gambia President Yahya Jammeh.jpg Yahya Jammeh
(1965–)
1996
2001
2006
2011
18 October 1996 21 January 2017 20 years, 95 days Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction
3 Adama Barrow, President, Republic of the Gambia - 2018 (cropped).jpg Adama Barrow
(1965–)
2016 19 January 2017[a] Incumbent 3 years, 126 days United Democratic Party

Standards

Living former heads of state

There are two living former Gambian heads of state. The most recent Gambian Head of State (who is also the most recently-serving) to die was Sir Dawda Jawara (1970-1994) on 27 August 2019.

Image Name Term/Reign Office Date of birth
Elizabeth II greets NASA GSFC employees, May 8, 2007 edit.jpg Elizabeth II 1965–1970 Queen of The Gambia (1926-04-21) 21 April 1926 (age 94)
Yahya Jammeh.png Yahya Jammeh 1994–1996
1996–2017
Military ruler
President of The Gambia
(1965-05-25) 25 May 1965 (age 54)

Notes

  1. ^ Presidency was in dispute from 19–21 January 2017.

External links