Gambia’s President Jammeh rejects election results
Gambia’s president Yahya Jammeh has surprisingly turned about and rejected the results of the recently held presidential elections.
Jammeh has been president for 22 years, and it had been a pleasant surprise when he had conceded victory to the United Democratic Party’s Adama Barrow in the December 1 elections. He had given a swift concession speech on television, and promised to hand over power swiftly.
“You are the elected president of The Gambia, and I wish you all the best. I have no ill will,” he had said in his concession speech. But all that has now gone down the drain.
“In the same way that I accepted the results faithfully believing that the Independent Electoral Commission was independent and honest and reliable, I hereby reject the results in totality,” he said today in a statement broadcast on state television.
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He added: “I lament serious and unacceptable abnormalities which have reportedly transpired during the electoral process.
“I recommend fresh and transparent elections which will be officiated by a God-fearing and independent electoral commission.”
This comes after the country’s election governing body, IEC, admitted to an accounting error that gave Barrow the victory, but with a slimmer margin. Jammeh described the error as unacceptable, saying: “Let me repeat: I will not accept the results based on what has happened.”
“This is the most dubious election we ever had in the history of this country,” he said.
“We will go back to the polls because I want to make sure every Gambian votes under an electoral commission that is impartial, independent, neutral and free from foreign influence,” he said, adding that he would not tolerate any street protests over his decision.
The United States has condemned Jammeh’s reversal. State department spokesman Mark Toner said: “This action is a reprehensible and unacceptable breach of faith with the people of The Gambia and an egregious attempt to undermine a credible election process and remain in power illegitimately.”