Gambia’s President Yahya Jammeh has been urged by the opposition to open a line of communication with President-elect Adama Barrow amid a political logjam that is throwing the small country into a turmoil.
Leaders of the opposition coalition that defeated Mr. Jammeh in the polls requested the outgoing president to open up a line of communication as part of negotiations to end the stalemate and allow a peaceful transfer of power.
President Yahya Jammeh’s bold decision to initially concede was welcomed by Gambians and the international community. It was praised by the opposition as the best way of protecting national sovereignty.
Jammeh has since rejected the results and now refuses to step down. Opposition activists say Jammeh should recognize and respect the decision of the Gambian people and leave power.
Jammeh declared the results null and void, but international condemnation and swift local resistance have forced him to resort to challenging the results in court.
The Gambia’s constitution provides for any registered political party, which has participated in the presidential election may apply to the Supreme Court to determine the validity of the election of a president by filing a petition within ten days of the declaration of the result of the election. Mr. Jammeh’s party filed their petition on the 12th day.
The UN has warned Jammeh to step down or face strong sanctions. ECOWAS says if mediation efforts face, it will be forced to use a by all means necessary resolution adopted by West African leaders in Abuja.