Gambians head to polls to choose parliament under new leader

Voters are heading to the polls in Gambia for parliamentary elections that are expected to end two decades of domination by the party of former leader Yahya Jammeh.

Thursday's vote is crucial for the transition promised by President Adama Barrow, who beat Jammeh in December elections. Barrow has promised a path toward reconciliation and greater freedoms in the tiny West African country. Jammeh's government was long accused of rights abuses.

Poll worker Lamin Fofana says a good turnout is expected despite a slow start.

Some 886,000 Gambians are registered to vote on 239 candidates for 53 constituencies.

The eight opposition parties that backed Barrow are now running separately against the former APRC ruling party, the Gambia Democratic Congress and some 42 independent candidates.