Gambia’s coalition leaders say ECOWAS is acting according to the constitution of The Gambia and not violating the country’s sovereignty with its mediation efforts and the use of all necessary means to uphold the outcome of the election that saw President Yahya Jammeh defeated.
Gambia’s electoral chief Alieu Momar Njai told four West African presidents that Mr. Adama Barrow is the winner of a now disputed election. President Yahya Jammeh had earlier accepted the results before taking a u-turn that has now thrown the country into a political turmoil.
“In making that declaration they are in no way implying that they intend to interfere with the internal affairs of the country, on the contrary, they are perfectly in concert with the letter and spirit of the Gambian Constitution. This is how matters stand. Hence President Elect Barrow is an Incoming President who has the Constitutional right to assume office on the 19th January 2017,” said Halifa Sallah, a senior member of the coalition.
ECOWAS leaders met with President Yahya Jammeh to persuade him to step down and allow the peaceful transfer of power.
Gambians rejoiced when Jammeh accepted the results but were not surprised by his sudden rejection of it a week later.
“This country has been independent since 1965. And they want me to leave my country? Who are they to tell me to leave my country,” Jammeh said.
ECOWAS urged Jammeh to respect the will of the sovereign people of The Gambia and West African leaders in Abuja adopted a by all means necessary measure to uphold the outcome of the polls.