In power since: 1994
Population: 9.9 million
1994 GDP per capita: $1,205
2010 GDP per capita: $1,972
GDP per capita change since 1994: +63.7%
Human Development Index 2010
Transparency International CPI 2010
Yahya Jammeh wrested control of the Gambia from President Dawda Jawara in a bloodless military coup in 1994. He was elected president in 1996, and has won every subsequent election, albeit through what his opponents claim are intimidation tactics and other restrictions aimed at stifling political opposition.
President Jammeh gained international notoriety in 2009 when he made death threats to human rights workers, whom he claims are trying to "destabilize" Gambia. Jammeh has also been accused of ordering the shootings of journalists and student protestors, which his government has denied.
Most recently in 2007, President Jammeh drew condemnation from medical experts when he claimed to have found the cure for HIV/AIDS in natural herbs, claiming those who have been through his program cannot transmit the virus. Fadzai Gwaradzimba, representative of the United Nations Development Programme in Gambia, publicly expressed skepticism of these claims and was subsequently told to leave the country.