Gambian President Yahya Jammeh will effectively become a “rebel leader” if he fails to leave office at the end of his mandate in January, the nation’s government-in-waiting said Sunday.
Halifa Sallah, a spokesman for the opposition coalition that spurred president-elect Adama Barrow to victory over Jammeh in a December 1 poll, said the longtime leader had no constitutional mandate to remain in office beyond January.
“Any president who loses constitutional legitimacy becomes a rebel,” Sallah said.
“Anybody who is a military officer or civil servant who refuses to be under another constitutional authority obviously would also become a rebel,” he added.
The Gambia’s top brass have flip-flopped over whether they will remain loyal to Jammeh, drawing warnings from the international community.
West African presidents, meanwhile, called on Gambian security forces to act in the national interest and “protect lives and property” in a statement issued after talks among the regional ECOWAS bloc on Saturday.
Sallah read an address to the nation on Barrow’s behalf that made clear the president-elect intended to take power in January once Jammeh’s five-year mandate expired See more…