Gambia’s president says he now rejects the outcome of an election which he lost after 22 years in power. Paul Chapman reports.
(REUTERS/STATE.GOV WEBSITE/GRTS) – These were the scenes in Gambia’s capital just a week ago as the country’s presidential elections gave a clear victory to opposition leader Adama Barrow.
It was an unexpected outcome which should mean an end to President Yahya Jammeh’s 22-year rule.
On December 3rd Jammeh conceded defeat and congratulated the victor.
On December 9th it was a different story.
GAMBIA PRESIDENT YAHYA JAMMEH,
“I hereby announce to all Gambians my total rejection of the election results and thereby annulling the elections in its entirety and until we go back. We will go back to the polls because I want to make sure that every Gambian has voted.”
Jammeh is a feared authoritarian who once said he would rule for a billion years.
He’s accused by rights groups of imprisoning and torturing opponents to crush dissent.
The U.S. has issued a statement condemning Jammeh’s rejection of the poll result as a breach of faith with the Gambian people.