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 Constitution of 1965 was the queen of the Gambia, Elizabeth II, who was also the queen of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms. The monarch was represented in the Gambia by a governor-general. The Gambia became a republic within the Commonwealth under the Constitution of 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.

No. Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Reign Royal House Prime minister(s)
Reign start Reign end Duration
1 Queen Elizabeth II
(1926–2022)
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. Since the Gambia was granted independence by the Gambia Independence Act 1964, rather than being first established as a semi-autonomous dominion and later promoted to independence as defined by the Statute of Westminster 1931, the governor-general was to be always appointed solely on the advice of the Cabinet of the Gambia without the involvement of the British government, with the sole exception of John Paul, the former colonial governor, who served as governor-general temporarily until he was replaced by Farimang Mamadi Singateh. In the event of a vacancy the chief justice would have served as the officer administering the government.

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

First Republic (1970–1994)

Under the Constitution of 1970, 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 Name
(Birth–Death)
Elected Term of office Political party
Took office Left office Time in office
1 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 Name
(Birth–Death)
Term of office Political party
Took office Left office Time in office
2 Colonel Yahya Jammeh
(born 1965)
Chairman of the AFPRC
22 July 1994 6 November 1996 2 years, 107 days Military

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 Name
(Birth–Death)
Elected Term of office Political party
Took office Left office Time in office
(2) Yahya Jammeh
(born 1965)
1996
2001
2006
2011
6 November 1996 19 January 2017[a] 20 years, 76 days Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction
3 Adama Barrow
(born 1965)
2016
2021
19 January 2017[b] Incumbent 7 years, 27 days Coalition 2016
(until 2019)
National People's Party

Timeline

Adama BarrowYahya JammehDawda JawaraElizabeth II

Standards

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Forced to step down amidst a constitutional crisis and the ECOWAS military intervention.
  2. ^ Presidency was in dispute from 19–21 January 2017.