Gambia’s president Yahya Jammeh has ruled with an iron grip for the past 22 years and ran for his fifth term in office but suffered a shock election defeat.
More than a week later, Jammeh refuses to accept the results.
“I announce to you, Gambians, my total rejection of the election results and thereby annulling the elections in its entirety,” he said in a televised speech Friday.
“We will go back to the polls because I want to make sure that every Gambian has voted under an independent electoral commission that is independent, neutral and free from foreign influence.”
Jammeh seized power in a 1994 military coup and has been in power ever since. Human rights groups have described his regime as abusive, with hundreds of political prisoners languishing in jail. Jammeh also attracted heavy criticism for claiming that he created an herbal remedy for AIDS, and he once threatened to behead gay people.
He had been expected to concede power to his opponent Adama Barrow, with the country’s electoral commission announcing last week that the president would do so.
Instead, Jammeh called for fresh elections — a move that was immediately criticized by the US government. “This action is a reprehensible and unacceptable breach of faith with the people of the Gambia and an egregious attempt to undermine a credible election process and remain in power illegitimately,” the US State Department said in a statement.
Source : CNN
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