Gambian President-elect Adama Barrow has responded to the outgoing Yahya Jammeh’s call for a rerun of the December 1 polls. According to Barrow, Jammeh does not have the constitutional right to call for a rerun of the polls.
Jammeh had on Friday night announced on state television that irregularities in the presidential polls detected by his team necessitated the annulment of the polls and the subsequent call for a rerun.
But Barrow in response to Jammeh told reporters on Saturday “I urge him to change his position and to accept in good faith the verdict of the people,” he further tasked his followers to remain calm and contained in the face of Jammeh’s new move, “I call on all Gambians to attend to their affairs,” Barrow is quoted to have said.
I urge him to change his position and to accept in good faith the verdict of the people. I call on all Gambians to attend to their affairs.
“I open up a channel of communication to convince him to facilitate a smooth transfer of executive powers in the supreme interest of this country,” Reuters quoted Barrow as further saying.
Since Jammeh’s rerun announcement, international condemnation has been swift from the African Union who described his move as ‘null and void,’ the European Union (EU) also deplored his position and urged him to accept the will of the people.
The United States has also condemned Jammeh as has the Gambia’s only land neighbor Senegal. Earlier on Saturday, a plane carrying Liberian President and Chairperson of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, was not allowed to land at the Banjul airport according to the Senegalese minister.
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Jammeh said on Friday evening, “I want to make it very clear, in the same way I accept the results on the basis that the IEC is independent, I will not accept the result. I reject the results,” Jammeh announced.
“I hereby annul the results and we will go back to the polls,” he added.
Seven opposition parties united behind Barrow in the run up to the polls. He succeeded in unseating long serving Yahya Jammeh who had ruled the Gambia for over two decades. He conceded defeat in the presidential election and subsequently called to congratulate the businessman for his victory.
According to the Electoral Commission, Barrow won 263,515 votes (45.5%) in the election, while President Jammeh took 212,099 (36.7%). A third party candidate, Mama Kandeh managed 102,969 (17.8%).