Gambia’s President-elect Adama Barrow, a businessman backed by seven opposition groups has requested for the petition filed by defeated President Yahya Jammeh to be considered as the exercise of the right by a private citizen to seek redress in the courts and not a state matter affecting the mandatory transfer of executive power.
The opposition coalition that won a shocking election against the country’s iron-fist ruler President Yahya Jammeh says Mr. Jammeh, who is refusing to leave power has the right to go to court to find redress to any grievance but insists such an action does not deprive President-elect Adama Barrow the right to take over the government next month.
“It should be clear to the public that while the loser has every right to make claims and indicate the Court actions it is taking to get a court decision it is contrary to the spirit and letter of the Constitution to give the impression that the victory of the winner is suspended and his entitlement to prepare to be inaugurated put on hold by an election petition,” a spokesperson for the coalition said.
President Yahya Jammeh’s mandate expires on January 18 and is facing pressure to step down. Opposition leaders vow to swear in Barrow and declare Jammeh a rebel leader if he refuses to leave.
Jammeh insists he will not be stepping down and West African forces are on alert to intervene and enforce the outcome of the polls.
Jammeh’s ruling APRC party has filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking for the results to be annulled, have Jammeh declared the winner or fresh polls be held. The defeated president said Mr. Barrow will not be sworn in until the court makes a ruling on his petition, a move that can throw the country into conflict.