Gambia’s legislature has passed a resolution to allow outgoing President Yahya Jammeh to remain in power for three months starting from Wednesday, January 18, 2017, state television reported.
The National Assembly also approved a resolution extending its tenure for a three month period starting from April 11 to July 11, 2017.
The resolution to have Jammeh continue in power was passed after a motion was tabled by Majority Leader Fabakary Jatta on Tuesday morning as indicated by the order paper made available to the media.
The National Assembly also condemned “the unlawful and malicious interference in the internal affairs of The Gambia by the AU Peace and Security Council, Government of the Republic of Senegal, and Senegal’s Representative at the UNSC.”
On Tuesday evening, Jammeh declared a three-month state of emergency only two days to the inauguration of president-elect Adama Barrow. Barrow is currently in Senegal and was widely expected to return and be sworn in on January 19 – when Jammeh’s tenure officially expires.
In a televised address on state TV, Jammeh announced that the 90 days state of emergency started from January 17 to April 17, 2017.
“Under this state of public emergency, civil liberties are to be fully respected while all citizens and residents in The Gambia are banned from any acts of disobedience to the laws of The Gambia, incitement to violence and acts intended to disturb public order and peace,” he said.
Among other reasons, Jammeh said the curfew will prevent a constitutional crisis and power vacuum pending the determination of the election petitions lodged at the Supreme Court. The court failed to sit on that case and another one seeking to block the swearing in of Adama Barrow, citing the lack of judges.
He also ordered the security forces, who pledged allegiance to him, to maintain law and order in the country during the period.
ECOWAS has attempted resolving the issue by convincing Jammeh to step down, yet mediation efforts remain inconclusive.