Senegal: US condemns defeated Gambian President's call for new election

Dakar, Senegal (PANA) - The United States government has condemned Gambian President Yahya Jammeh's rejection of results of a presidential election that he lost and is instead calling for a new vote in the West African nation.

Jammeh, who lost the 1 December election to the opposition coalition 2016's Adama Barrow and conceded defeat, turned around on Friday to reject the result.

"We strongly condemn President Jammeh’s December 9 statement rejecting the December 1 election results and calling for new elections," the US said in a statement obtained by PANA in Dakar.  

"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."

The statement called on President Jammeh, who accepted the election results on 2 December, to carry out an orderly transition of power to president-elect Barrow in accordance with the Gambian constitution.  

"We call upon all institutions in The Gambia, including the elected leadership, the armed forces, religious leaders, political parties and civil society organizations to reject violence and peacefully uphold the will of the people that was expressed clearly through the ballot box.  

"The people have spoken and it is time for Gambians to come together to ensure a peaceful transition to President-elect Barrow," the statement added.

Jammeh, surrounded by cabinet ministers and security chiefs on Friday, said on state-owned Gambia Radio and Television Services: “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.

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

Jammeh said he was convinced that the results were not accurate, adding that the Electoral Commission erred as indicated in the revised results, which still put Barrow in the lead.

Jammeh has ruled Gambia with an iron fist since toppling a civilian government in 1994. He has been condemned by the international community for gross human rights abuses that have seen suppression of protests, disappearances, detentions and deaths.
-0- PANA MLJ/MA 10Dec2016

10 december 2016 13:32:12

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