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  1. ITV Report

Former Argos security guard elected President of Gambia

Gambians cheered their new president as he waved to the crowds from a balcony after his victory. Credit: EBU/AFP

A former north London Argos security guard has been declared President-elect of Gambia.

Adama Barrow's surprise win ends two decades of rule by Yahya Jammeh, who once said he would lead for "a billion years".

Gambians cheered their new president as he waved to the crowds from a balcony after his victory.

The people of this west African nation are looking to the former Argos employee, who once dreamed of being an estate agent, to restore democracy and the economy.

Nicknamed "no drama Adama" because of his cool, calm demeanour, Barrow, a member of the Fula ethnic group from rural eastern Gambia, had not sought the job of president.

He only learned he was even being considered as a party leader when he turned up for the vote in September.

Barrow plans to reverse some of Jammeh's polices, including stopping Gambia's withdrawal from the International Criminal Court announced last month, his spokesman Karamaba Touray said.

He will also ask to rejoin the Commonwealth and revoke Jammeh's declaration of Gambia as an Islamic republic.

"He is the absolute opposite of Jammeh. He wants to restore democracy, it will be entirely different," Touray said.

The biggest test of this ambition will come in three years when Barrow has pledged to step down in order to open up newly democratic Gambia's political space.