Gambian head of state Yahya Jammeh, on Thursday filed his application for a fifth term in office on the ticket of the Alliance for Reorientation and Patriotic Construction (APRC), his party. He assured supporters that he was not affected by any criticism of him.
“No matter what people say about me, I am not touched,” said Jammeh, 51, after handing over his file to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) on the last day of the deadline to formalize applications.
“I do not listen to anyone because I know what’s important, it’s between me and God, we want to listen to everybody, to satisfy everybody, and we end up satisfying bad guys … do what’s right, make sure to satisfy only God the Almighty,” he added.
I do not listen to anyone because I know what's important, it's between me and God, we want to listen to everybody, to satisfy everybody, and we end up satisfying bad guys.
Jammeh will face two other candidates, who had earlier filed their applications: Adama Barrow, supported by an opposition coalition, and Mama Kandeh, former member of the APRC now with the Democratic Congress of the Gambia (GDC ), a newly formed party.
After submitting his candidature, Jammeh spoke of a series of his projects in particular for free education and health care, indicating that his government believed particularly in empowering women.
The campaign for the presidential election is due to start on 16 November, the one-round election will take place on 1 December.
Having come to power through a coup in 1994, Yahya Jammeh was elected for the first time in 1996 and then constantly re-elected in 2001, 2006, 2011.
Gambia is a small English-speaking West African state enclosed in the territory of Senegal, with the coastal border on the Atlantic. Jammeh’s regime is accused by NGOs and the US State Department of enforced disappearances and harassment of the press and human rights defenders, accusations that he regularly rejects.