Gambian President Jammeh makes u-turn, calls for fresh poll

Chidi Samuel

Barely a week after conceding defeat in the Presidential election, President Yahya Jammeh of Gambia, on Friday, in a televised address, rejected the outcome of the election and called for fresh election to be conducted by a “God-fearing and independent electoral commission.”

“After a thorough investigation, I have decided to reject the outcome of the recent election. I lament serious and unacceptable abnormalities which have reportedly transpired during the electoral process,” Mr. Jammeh said.

“I recommend fresh and transparent elections which will be officiated by a god-fearing and independent electoral commission,” he said.

The unexpected announcement by Jammeh who has ruled the country for 22 years, has cast doubt over the future of the small West African country as many residents stayed indoors over the week end following the incumbents President’s threat to deal severely with protesters.

The  opposition in a reaction has called for calm while they continue consultation, Mai Ahmad Fatty told Reuters, “We are consulting on what to do, but as far as we are concerned, the people have voted.” “We will maintain peace and stability and not let anyone provoke us into violence.”

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The international community has however reacted swiftly to the announcement with neighbouring Senegal calling for an emergency UN Security Council meeting while the United States Department of States has released a statement warning Mr. Jammeh to ensure smooth and peaceful transition of power.