Gambian lawyers ask Jammeh to step down

Gambia Bar Association have asked their members and the staff of the Judiciary to “boycott the court in solidarity with the people until such time as the government of the outgoing President Jammeh accepts the result of these elections and hand over power to the President Elect- Barrow”. 

bar-associationA joint statement by Gambia Bar Association has denounced President Jammeh’s attempt to reject election results as constituting “treason”.

The acting president of the country’s body of legal practitioners, Sheriff Tambadou, has told journalists at Cocoa Ocean hotel that Jammeh’s statement annulling the election results was “unconstitutional”.

“The statement of the outgoing president contravenes the section 49 of the 1997 constitution of the republic of The Gambia…,” Tambadou who spoke on behalf of the Bar said.

“And in our considered opinion, it is an abrogation of the constitution and an attempt to subvert the legitimate decisions of the people of The Gambia.”

“This action is tantamount to treason under the provision of section 6 of the constitution. We Gambia Bar Association reject the subsequent statement that the APRC intends to file a petition at the Supreme Court against the election results.”

Gambians went to polls on December 1 and the declared results by the Independent Electoral Commission of the country gave victory to a property developer Adama Barrow on the day that follows.

Jammeh did accepted and congratulated the president elect on his victory.

On December 9, Jammeh  announced he has rejected the outcome of the election in its “totality”, citing irregularities.

But Barrow told journalists a day after that he is the president elect of Gambia, adding that he will be sworn in by January at a schedule date to be announced.

Tambadou said there are no judges at the country’s top court since last year and an any recent appointment of judges by the president who is planning to file a case at the court will lead to a miscarriage of justice.

“While under normal circumstances, the right to petition election result does exist, the situation in Gambia now is that there is no constituted panel of the Supreme Court… in the circumstances; it will be against the principles of natural justice for the outgoing president to appoint judges to hear a petition file by him or on his behalf,” he said.

Meanwhile, the opposition earlier today also issued a press release denouncing president’s attempt to challenge the results at the court.

The opposition coalition that was declared winners of the 2 December polls said it has dismissed any attempt by the APRC “to legitimize the illegal actions of the outgoing President and even the idea that his actions are capable of being legitimized”.

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