French President Holland says Gambia’s President-elect Barrow should be sworn-in immediately

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French President François Holland has called for the immediate installation of Gambia’s President-elect Adama Barrow considering the results of the election are indisputable.

At a news joint news conference with visiting Senegalese President Macky Sall on Tuesday at the Elysée in Paris, President Hollande said outgoing President Yahya Jammeh had lost the elections, conceded defeat and should handover power gracefully. He told Mr Jammeh that in no circumstances, he can be president anymore and should respect the will of the Gambian people.

“In The Gambia, an election has taken place, the result are clear and cannot be challenged and President-elect Adama Barrow must be installed as soon as possible” Hollande told the news conference at the Elysée. According to Hollande, “there is no doubt about this reality. No transaction is possible and Mr Jammeh should respect the will of the people”.

The Gambia went to the polls on December 1st, 2016 in which incumbent President Yahya Jammeh was defeated by the opposition coalition leader Adama Barrow. Mr Jammeh conceded defeat and a week later made a surprising U-turn by rejecting the results citing certain irregularities at the level of the electoral commission.

Since then, the country plunges into a political nightmare and there are several high level diplomatic missions underway to persuade incumbent Yahya Jammeh to respect the will of the will and hand over power to President-elect Adama Barrow.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) dispatched a quartet of African leaders to The Gambia last week to bring a lasting solution. This was followed by an emergency summit of the Heads of States held in Abuja, Nigeria, in which The Gambia was top on the agenda and after which, leader unanimously urged Mr Jammeh to step down when his term ends and handover power peacefully to President-elect Adama Barrow.

President Hollande welcomed the decision of the 50th ECOWAS Heads of States and Government Summit held in Abuja on December 17th saying, like Senegal and the regional bloc, UN, UK, USA and others, France is behind the Gambian people and condemned Mr Jammeh for his actions. He categorically warned him to accept defeat for the interest of peace and avoid any other option against him by the international community. The French leader then made it clear that as from now on, France only recognizes President-elect Adama Barrow is the legitimate president of The Gambia.

By Alhagie Jobe

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