President-elect Adama Barrow’s transition team was arranging meetings between him and the security chiefs, the electoral chairperson, speaker of the parliament and the chief justice but it seems all of that may not happen after President Yahya Jammeh, who conceded defeat suddenly make a political u-turn rejecting the outcome of the polls.
Hours after President-elect Barrow addressed the nation allays fears of the people and reassuring that progress is being made to facilitate a smooth transfer of power, President Jammeh in an address to the nation called for fresh polls to be held, accusing the electoral commission of rigging the elections and being influenced by the international community.
Gambians were in doubt when Yahya Jammeh said this: “I will never cheat or dispute the elections because this is the most transparent and rig-proof elections in the whole world;” but they held on to hope that he would keep to his words – usually he does when he threaten to crackdown on protesters and kill prisoners.
Mr. Jammeh had always said if Allah wishes he would rule for a billion years, but if The Gambian people decide that they do not want him, he will retire as a farmer.
Barrow with the coalition leaders was carefully planning and measuring steps, consulting one another to build consensus. Well, that is how they intend to run the new administration. It laudable, but not when you are dealing with a unilateral decision maker like Jammeh.
Some coalition leaders do not trust Jammeh. And how right were they when they nixed Barrow’s visit to the State House.
Jammeh’s rejection of the results, although facing strong condemnation and resistance from the international community, has thrown The Gambia into a political crisis. He has denied entry clearance for Liberia’s President and ECOWAS Chair Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, dampening hopes of a quick political solution. The UN Security Council said he must step down but will Jammeh heed?
President-elect Barrow has urged Jammeh to change his position and accept the verdict of the people in the best interest of the nation. He has vowed to take office when Jammeh’s term ends in January and has opened a channel of communication with the outgoing President.
“I will open a channel of communication for the smooth transfer of power for the interest of the country… Leaders come and go and sooner or later I will also go. All of us must accept that and act in the supreme interest of The Gambia,” Barrow said.