Gambia parliament passes bill that imposes expensive deposits for presidential candidates

Gambia's opposition says the recent passing of a bill that imposes high deposit amounts for political candidates makes it difficult for opposition members vying for the office.

Opposition leader Ousainou Darboe said Wednesday that the new law ensures only those who have money can participate in political life in Gambia.

The bill was passed Tuesday by parliament. It says candidates must deposit about $10,000 to be a presidential candidate. Fees for council and parliament seats range from $50-$1,000.

The tiny, poor West African nation is surrounded by Senegal. Human rights activists accuse President Yahya Jammeh of targeting political opponents, journalists, and gays and lesbians.

Jammeh came to power in a military coup in 1994 and he's since survived several coup attempts, the most recent occurring last December.