Opposition leader Fabakary Tombong Jatta does not regret his attempt at a so-called constitutional coup to keep former President Yahya Jammeh in power.
Jammeh declared a state of emergency, just two days before he is supposed to cede power after losing elections to then opposition rival Adama Barrow.
Parliament, led by Mr. Jatta as majority leader, voted to extend Jammeh’s term of office for three months, deepening the political crisis and nearly plunging the country into a bloodbath.
“I am proud to associate myself with the state of emergency and I want journalists to ask me one million times and I will answer it proudly, one million times,” Jatta told journalist Omar Wally.
The Supreme Court at the time said Jammeh’s challenge to the election result could not be heard for several months as it did not have a full bench, and the extra judges needed to hear the case were not available.
Jammeh challenged the results of the elections citing irregularities and wanted to use a state of emergency told to hold on to power until neighboring English-speaking nations can send judges to constitute a Supreme Court.
More than 75,000 people fled the country leading to a humanitarian crisis on the northern border with Senegal, while some 150,000 people became internally displaced.
West African troops entered the country after Mr. Barrow was sworn-in as Gambia’s leader in the country’s embassy in the Senegalese capital, Dakar.
Jammeh fled the country to Equatorial Guinea as the foreign forces mandated by Barrow to flush him out of power captured his presidential compound in southwestern Gambia and advanced towards the capital, Banjul.
Jatta is now the interim leader of Jammeh’s defeated APRC party. The party lost its majority stake in parliament in April. The UDP won an absolute majority in the legislative polls.
The back-to-back humiliating defeats left the APRC with only five seats in parliament, which were all won in the opposition stronghold of Foni, where Mr. Jammeh hails from.