1970 Gambian republic referendum

A referendum on becoming a republic was held in the Gambia in April 1970. The changes resulted in the creation of the post of President to replace Elizabeth II as head of state, thus eliminating the post of Governor-General. It was the second referendum on the issue: the first in 1965 failed because the two-thirds majority required was not reached.

1970 Gambian republic referendum
April 1970
Votes %
Yes 84,968 70.45%
No 35,638 29.55%
Valid votes 120,606 100.00%
Invalid or blank votes 0 0.00%
Total votes 120,606 100.00%
Registered voters/turnout 133,813 90.13%

This time the referendum produced a "yes" result. The Prime Minister Sir Dawda Jawara was elected the first President by the parliament, replacing Elizabeth II (represented by Governor-General Sir Farimang Mamadi Singateh) as head of state on 24 April 1970.


Choice Votes %
For 84,968 70.45
Against 35,638 29.55
Total 120,606 100
Registered voters/turnout 133,813 90.1
Source: Hughes & Perfect[1]


  1. ^ Arnold Hughes & David Perfect (2006) A political history of the Gambia, 1816–1994, University of Rochester Press, p346