New York City, New York – Gambian president Yahya Jammeh has refused to accept the country’s December 3rd 2016 presidential election’s results in which he lost to opposition leader Adama barrow.
Per confidential sources from Banjul, the defeated Gambian leader is alleged to have privately discussed with some senior military officials loyal to him to plot the assassination of President-elect Adama Barrow. Jammeh is also staging a military takeover by his loyalists in the army should he be forced out by international pressure, according to sources.
Jammeh who has been in power for 22 years since taking power in a military coup in 1993, first conceded by calling the presumed winner of the election, Mr. Barrow, promising to work with him in a smooth transitional process.
He called on President-elect Barrow to work with him to smoothen the transition process. Barely two after that concession, the West African dictator reneged on his promise and instead requested a recount of the election results and possibly a conducting of a new election.
Meanwhile, sources in Banjul say the country is at a standstill and the national security forces, including the Gambian army are divided with a few supporting long-serving and defeated President Jammeh, and most supporting the opposition leader and President-elect Barrow.
Per confidential sources, President Jammeh and his allies in Gambian army are allegedly planning an assassination plot against the President-elect. Analysts say if this happens, the country would possibly explode in chaos.
President-elect Barrow, a consensus candidate backed by a coalition of opposition groups, on Saturday urged Jammeh to accept defeat, arguing he had no legal standing for the turnaround.
In New York, United Nations Security Council members “strongly condemned” Jammeh’s decision to reject the results and call for a new election.
The Council urged him to “carry out a peaceful and orderly transition process and they requested that the security of the president-elect Adama Barrow, and that of all Gambian citizens be fully ensured.”
In what is considered to be a unanimous statement, the 15 council members called on Jammeh to “respect the choice of the sovereign people of The Gambia, as he did on December 2 2016, and to transfer, without condition and undue delay, power to the President-elect, Mr Adama Barrow.”
President Jammeh’s concession speech on December 2, 2016. Next day, he changed his mind on the election’s results.
Senegal, a non-permanent member of the Security Council, has requested a meeting to discuss the crisis, which could be held on Monday, diplomats said.
Jammeh, a devout Muslim who seized power in 1994 in the former British colony, warned Gambians not to take to the streets to protest his decision, raising concerns from rights groups and some western nations.
“President Jammeh’s rejection of the electoral results and his statement that he will not tolerate protest risk leading to instability and possible repression,” said Sabrina Mahtani, Amnesty International’s West Africa Researcher.
Latest official electoral count gave Barrow 43.29 percent of the votes in the presidential election, while Jammeh took 39.64 percent. The turnout was 59 percent.
Those figures reflect the correction issued Monday by election authorities, showing a slimmer-than-thought victory for Barrow, of just over 19,000 votes.
Jammeh’s declaration was “a prelude to a petition that the (ruling) APRC Party is in the process of filing before the Supreme Court of the Gambia against a fraud decision of the IEC (Independent Electoral Commission),” his party said in a statement released late Saturday.
Jammeh had said Friday that he had previously accepted the electoral results “believing that the Independent Electoral Commission was independent and honest and reliable”, but would now “reject the results in totality.”
Jammeh’s swift concession of defeat on December 2 had stunned observers and led to celebrations in the country.
Constitutionally Jammeh has 10 days after the election result is declared to file a complaint, but that deadline — December 12 — is a bank holiday, meaning he may have an extra day in lieu.
His lawyers might also argue he has 10 days after the recount declaration, according to legal experts.
The Supreme Court has not sat in more than a year, so judges will have to be appointed before they can consider the president’s legal complaint, potentially delaying Barrow’s inauguration.