Gambia’s parliament has given President Yahya Jammeh the authority to suspended normal constitutional procedure for the embattled leader to regain control.
President Yahya Jammeh has declared a 90-day state of emergency just days before his mandate expires. The move came just after Nigeria deployed a warship to the small nation.
The precise terms of the state of emergency and its implications for Thursday’s inauguration of the president-elect were not immediately known.
Jammeh is refusing to step down despite international pressure and the threat by other West African nations of a military intervention.
Lawmakers in the peanut exporting country, the majority of whom are members of Jammeh’s defeated party, passed a motion calling on ECOWAS to refrain from any action that would “disrespect and or destabilize the sovereignty, independence, peace, tranquility and territorial integrity of The Gambia.”
Thousands have left the Gambia and much more displaced due to fear of armed conflict. Forces loyal to President Yahya Jammeh have arrested dozens of soldiers who they say are supporting Mr. Barrow.
Jammeh’s forces have placed checkpoints and mounted machine guns on top of sandbags at strategic locations in the Greater Banjul area to secure the capital.
Mr. Barrow won 43.3% of the vote compared with Mr. Jammeh’s 39.6%. A third candidate, Mama Kandeh, got 17.1%.
Yahya Jammeh seized power in the tiny West African country in 1994 and has been accused of human rights abuses, although he has held regular elections.