Outgoing President Yahya Jammeh’s rejection of December 1st election results is illegal

PRESS RELEASE: COALITION DIASPORA CONSULTATIVE COUNCIL

 

The Coalition Diaspora Consultative Council (CDCC) notes with utter astonishment and deep concern that the Outgoing President Yahya Jammeh on December 9th, 2016 has rejected the results of the Presidential Election held on December 1st. In a televised address to the nation, the outgoing president said the election was flawed, that the IEC was compromised and that there must be new elections.

 

The CDCC wishes to inform all Gambians to maintain calm but remain steadfast and resolved in upholding the results of December 1st election as the undiluted choice of the people of the Gambia. All Gambians must continue to cherish and defend the sanctity of the election and welcome President-Elect Mr. Adama Barrow as the President-elect of the Republic of the Gambia. The CDCC therefore wishes to remind the people that this election was completely validated by each and every candidate in the vote whose representatives were present and endorsed the results in each and every counting centre before the Chairman of the IEC announced the results.

 

On December 2nd when all the results were announced, the Chairman Alieu Momarr Njai declared President-Elect Mr. Adama Barrow as the new president of the country according to the votes counted. Following his declaration, the Outgoing President Yahya Jammeh conceded defeat and then called to congratulate President-Elect Mr. Adama Barrow. Jammeh applauded the election as the will of the people and promised to work with Barrow to ensure a smooth transition. Gambians therefore do not expect anything anymore from Outgoing President Yahya Jammeh other than to fulfill his legal and political obligations as the outgoing head of state to ensure a smooth and peaceful transfer of power as per Section 63 subsection 2 of the 1997 Constitution.

 

The CDCC wishes to further note that the right to petition the election result has been guaranteed in Section 98 of the Elections Act. However Outgoing Pres. Yahya Jammeh did not follow the procedures laid out in the Act. By our laws, no candidate has the right to publicly reject elections result and then call for a new vote. Outgoing Pres. Jammeh has no authority or mandate for the decision he made in his announcement. If any candidate wishes to contest the vote, there are specified procedures in the laws and institutions of the country to follow and not through a television announcement.

 

In light of the foregoing, the CDCC wishes to call on Outgoing Pres. Yahya Jammeh to therefore withdraw his statement of rejection of the election result because it is unconstitutional and a violation of the Elections Act. More seriously, his statement is in bad faith as it reflects his reneging on his own acceptance of the results and concession of defeat and congratulating the new president. Hence his statement grossly undermines the reputation of the Office of the President and threatens national security. As the outgoing President, he bears legal obligation under Section 61 subsection 2 to defend the Constitution of the Gambia. Section 17 further enjoins the Outgoing President to protect the fundamental rights and freedoms of Gambians, which includes respecting the will of Gambians as expressed in transparent, free and genuine elections.

 

The CDCC wishes to call on President-Elect Mr. Adama Barrow and the Coalition leaders as well as GDC leader Mamma Kandeh to remain steadfast and true to their commitment to a free, peaceful and united Gambia in line with the constitution. This is the time when they need to bond together to protect the undiluted will of the people of the Gambia as expressed in this election.

 

To the people of The Gambia, we wish to remind you that you owe no allegiance to anyone except your nation. The safety and stability of The Gambia must be your paramount interest. You have spoken loud and clear and your will must be respected by all. Do not accept any individual to overthrow your will and subvert your sovereignty. You are the source and owner of power in the Gambia and both the state and the political parties and their candidates derive their legitimacy from you the people and they function to serve you. Hence we call on all Gambians to squarely reject outgoing Pres. Yahya Jammeh’s attempt to subvert the undiluted will of the people. Outgoing Pres. Jammeh must be told that he cannot and Gambians will not allow him to impose himself on our nation for his own selfish interests.

 

For assistance or information, please contact:

Dr. Malanding Jaiteh

msjaiteh@gmail.com

The Coalition Diaspora Consultative Council (CDCC)

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