Gambia’s former dictator Yahya Jammeh wants amnesty and the right to participate in the country’s next presidential elections as part of a deal for him to cede power to President Adama Barrow.
Gambia’s are expected to go back to the polls by late 2019. The coalition that is backing Mr. Barrow agreed he will serve for only three years and organize fresh elections in which they can all contest as individual parties.
Mr. Barrow and West African leaders may not agree to this and Mr. Jammeh is not in the position to make demands after his mandate expires and faces a military force poised to oust him.
APRC senior member Mayor Yankuba Colley had said last month that the party will continue to play a significant role in the country’s politics and hinted they will contest parliamentary polls this year.
Gambia’s military and police chiefs pledge allegiance to President Barrow and urged citizens and business owners to return.
After 22 years in power, Yahya Jammeh had come under intense pressure to leave, with Barrow sworn in Thursday with the support of West African leaders and the international community.
The presidents of Mauritania and Guinea are in Banjul, the Gambia’s capital to formalize his exit.
President Adama Barrow had given Jammeh an olive branch to hand over power before authorizing West African forces to enter the country. Barrow now says Jammeh must leave the country.
Human rights groups said that Jammeh, as president, had opponents and critics arrested and jailed without trial. Barrow came to office promising an end to human rights abuses.
(Reporting by Saikou Jammeh; Writing by Sam Phatey; Editing by Sainey MK Marenah)