The last presidential declaration of Yahya Jammeh, a three month state of emergency, has been lifted by the National Assembly. A journalist in the capital reports that a member of Jammeh’s party apologized for the declaration.
Jammeh declared the state of emergency with about 24 hours to the end of his tenure on January 19. The move had the backing of the legislators who also held that Jammeh should remain in charge for the period of the state of emergency.
The situation made it impossible for the swearing in of President Adama Barrow to take place at the Banjul national stadium. Subsequently, Barrow took office in the Gambian embassy in neighbouring Senegal.
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.
Jammeh over the weekend left the country into exile after reaching a deal with Presidents of Guinea and Mauritania. He is currently in Equatorial Guinea after his plane made a stopover in the Guinean capital, Conakry.
Jammeh was declared loser of elections when he stood for his fifth presidential bid. He initially accepted the results before announcing a volte-face, annulling the results and ordering a rerun which the opposition rejected.
In a televised address on state TV on the evening of January 17, Jammeh announced that the 90 days state of emergency starts 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.
Jammeh gave reasons for the state of emergency including “the need to prevent a constitutional crisis and power vacuum pending the determination of the petitions at the Supreme Court and the application for an injunction against swearing in Mr. Adama Barrow, until the Supreme Court decides on the 1st December 2016 Presidential Election results”.