The Gambian Bar Association (GBA) has challenged the decision by outgoing president Yahya Jammeh to annul the last presidential polls which he lost to businessman Adama Barrow.
The association on Monday evening added its voice to the international condemnation of Jammeh’s December 9 announcement. Jammeh in a televised address said due to irregularities, he had annulled the December 1 polls and ordered a rerun subsequently.
But the law society described Jammeh’s statement as a contravention of section 49 of the Gambia’s 1997 constitution, and added, ‘‘in our opinion is an abrogation of the constitution and an attempt to subvert the legitimate decision of the people of the Gambia. Further, this action is tantamount to treason under the provisions of section 6(1) of the constitution.’‘
Further, this action is tantamount to treason under the provisions of section 6(1) of the constitution.
The GBA also clarified that Gambia currently did not have a Supreme Court panel as a result of which cases at the apex court has stalled since May 2015. They stated that it will be wrong for Jammeh to empanel a new set of judges to sit on an election petition which also does not exist in law.
They also tasked other civil society groups and professional bodies to pledge allegiance to the president-elect. They said Jammeh had to respect the outcome of the last polls because, ‘‘any other course of action will jeopardise the peace and stability of the country.’‘
The GBA asked all of its members and staff of the judiciary to boycott the courts in solidarity with the people until Jammeh hands over power to Barrow who led an opposition coalition that beat Jammeh and ending his over two decades of rule over the tiny West African country.
Meanwhile, Liberian President and Chairperson of the Economic Commission of West African States (ECOWAS) along with four other African Heads of State are expected in Banjul to meet Jammeh as part of efforts to solve the political situation.