President Yahya Jammeh told IEC Chairman Alieu Njie that he should invite the international community to observe the December 1 polls, in which he is confident that he would win.
“Invite the international community to come and observe the elections. You cannot listen to everyone and satisfy everyone. Do what is right and fear no one,” said Jammeh.
But an EU official told Reuters that Gambian authorities declined to give them clearance to observe the elections. Although the electoral commission has signaled that the EU can send a delegation, The Gambia’s ministry of foreign affairs refused to allow the observers.
The sub-regional body ECOWAS did not observe the last elections sand says they were not free and fair but EU sent a technical team.
IEC Chair Njie raised issues of voter fraud and rigging during the formalization of President Yahya Jammeh’s nomination as the ruling APRC’s presidential hopeful. That was when Jammeh encouraged him to invite the EU on the advice that Njie “should do what is right and fear no one.”
The EU revelation has raised questions about Jammeh bluff of inviting the international community to observe the polls and put more pressure on the credibility of the electoral commission, whose officials did not make it public that the EU request was declined.
Jammeh has accused Western nations of trying to oust him. He is seeking a fifth mandate in a fiercely contested election. He is facing two other candidates: a breakaway former parliamentarian and a coalition backed hopeful.
“They already know who is going to win and no matter what, I am going to win. Again, this is the second election that nobody is financing except the government entirely and 100 percent” Jammeh said.