Gambia’s president elect, Adama Barrow, has issued a statement commending West African leaders for their “landmark initiative” after calling on the country’s outgoing leader President Jammeh to step down when his term expires on January 19.
On Saturday, the leaders of the Economic Community of West African States have issued a communiqué pledging to ensure the security of the Adama Barrow and also promised to attend his inauguration on January 19.
“My status as Incoming President has unquestionable constitutional legitimacy. I am therefore preparing to assume office after Outgoing President Jammeh’s term expires in January and the team for the inauguration is at work,” he said in a statement read out to journalists by his spokesperson, Halifa Sallah.
“In the spirit of national reconciliation, I still wish to call on Outgoing President Jammeh to accept his status in good faith and facilitate a smooth transfer of power. This is what is in line with national interest which he has sworn to uphold and defend under the constitution.”
Barrow added: “My position as President Elect and that of the Coalition is clear. Section 63 Subsection 2 of the constitution orders that I assume office on the day the term of the office of the outgoing President Jammeh expires. He assumed office on 19 January 2012. His term expires in January 2017 after serving five years as provided by the Constitution.”
Gambia was plunged into a crisis situation after its election authorities declared opposition leader Adama Barrow the winner in an election President Jammeh said was marred with “unacceptable irregularities”, a week after conceding defeat.
Now, President Jammeh and his party challenged the results at the Supreme Court while Adama Barrow and his coalition political heavyweights are threatening that they will inaugurate him as President if Jammeh’s term expires on January 19.
Jammeh said he has annulled the results after rejecting it in its “totality” on a televise address to the nation but Barrow and his team said he has no constitutional authority to do that.