Africa

AP INTERVIEW: Election winner promises 'a new Gambia'

  • Gambian President elect Adama Barrow sits for an interview with the Associated Press at his residence in Yundum, Gambia, Saturday Dec. 3, 2016. Gambia’s newly elected president Barrow says he will free the country’s political prisoners, reverse the former administration’s decision to leave the International Criminal court and lead a transition government for only three years.  (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)

    Gambian President elect Adama Barrow sits for an interview with the Associated Press at his residence in Yundum, Gambia, Saturday Dec. 3, 2016. Gambia’s newly elected president Barrow says he will free the country’s political prisoners, reverse the former administration’s decision to leave the International Criminal court and lead a transition government for only three years. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)  (The Associated Press)

  • Gambians gather for a photo around president elect Adama Barrow, center, at his residence in Yundum, Gambia, Saturday Dec. 3, 2016. Gambia’s newly elected president Barrow says he will free the country’s political prisoners, reverse the former administration’s decision to leave the International Criminal court and lead a transition government for only three years. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)

    Gambians gather for a photo around president elect Adama Barrow, center, at his residence in Yundum, Gambia, Saturday Dec. 3, 2016. Gambia’s newly elected president Barrow says he will free the country’s political prisoners, reverse the former administration’s decision to leave the International Criminal court and lead a transition government for only three years. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)  (The Associated Press)

  • Gambian President elect Adama Barrow sits for an interview with the Associated Press at his residence in Yundum, Gambia, Saturday Dec. 3, 2016. Gambia’s newly elected president Barrow says he will free the country’s political prisoners, reverse the former administration’s decision to leave the International Criminal court and lead a transition government for only three years. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)

    Gambian President elect Adama Barrow sits for an interview with the Associated Press at his residence in Yundum, Gambia, Saturday Dec. 3, 2016. Gambia’s newly elected president Barrow says he will free the country’s political prisoners, reverse the former administration’s decision to leave the International Criminal court and lead a transition government for only three years. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)  (The Associated Press)

Gambia's newly elected president is urging exiles who fled during the 22-year reign of his predecessor to return from abroad and help him reform the tiny West African country.

In an interview with The Associated Press the day after his upset election win, Adama Barrow on Saturday also vowed to free all political prisoners and declared the birth of "a new Gambia."

A former businessman and now real estate mogul who became the unlikely head of a formidable opposition coalition, the 51-year-old Barrow says he plans to preside over a three-year transition before another presidential election is held.

He also says he wants to reverse President Yahya Jammeh's decisions to pull out of both the Commonwealth, a group made up mostly of former British colonies, and the International Criminal Court.