Voting is underway in Gambia’s Parliamentary elections, the first polls since long time ruler Yahya Jammeh was defeated in December 2016.

Polls opened as early as 07:00AM GMT and closes at 17hr GMT.

So far, voter turnout is reported low in the capital, Banjul and other stations in Greater Banjul area like in Buffer Zone, Tallanding, Serre Kunda Plaza Cinema, Latrikunda and Bakau.

According to the Independent Electoral Commission, 886,000 registered voters are expected to cast their votes in Thursday’s elections.

A total of 239 registered candidates representing 9 different political parties and Independent are battling for the 48 National Assembly seats in the country’s Parliament. Five other nominated members will later be nominated by the President, totaling 53 seats of the National Assembly.

Former President Jammeh’s APRC Party and now opposition has 29 candidates, The Gambia Democratic Congress of Mama Kandeh has 52 candidates, United Democratic Party of Lawyer Ousainou Darboe has 44 candidates, Hamat Bah’s NRP has 24 candidates, Halifa Sallah’s PDOIS has 22 candidates, NCP 3, GMC 5, PPP 14, GPDP 4 and Independent 42 respectively.

Expectations are high that the new lawmakers will overhaul a national assembly once derided as a mere rubberstamp under former President Yahya Jammeh’s 22 years rule as laws were often made by executive decree and buttressed by legislation later.