President Jammeh has berated the Economic Community of West African States for meddling into the internal affairs of Gambia and also rejecting his call for fresh votes without even effective scrutiny of his evidences which he has submitted to their mediators.
President Yahya Jammeh has condemned the position of West Africa economic bloc, ECOWAS, after the regional body asked him to step down when his term expires on January 19.
In a meeting with members of the African Bar Association broadcasted on the national TV, President Jammeh said the position taken by the regional body was against its principle of “noninterference into the affairs of a sovereign state”.
ECOWAS leaders met in Nigeria on December 17 and called on Jammeh to step down.
A standoff started in Gambia on December 9 after Jammeh rejected the results, a week after conceding defeat to a little known property developer, Adama Barrow.
“They told me to send a representative only for the representative to be told that… Jammeh must hand over and that on the 19 of January all ECOWAS heads of states will be in Banjul to see the inauguration of the president elect,” he argued.
“This is violating one rule that says noninterference in the internal matter of countries…”
“Knowing that we have a strong case, they said we should not go to the court and irrespective of the court decision if you proceed— they know that I am going to proceed— they will enforce the December 1election results. Let them enforce it today and see. What are they waiting for? I will not be intimidated by any power in this world,” he added.
Jammeh said he initially accepted the results because he thought that was the “verdict of the Gambian people” before he discovered the “unacceptable irregularities”, including disenfranchisement of their voters in some cases.
He ordered a fresh elections that will be supervised by a “completely independent electoral commission and make sure that every Gambian votes”.
Jammeh said the ECOWAS delegation met him and the opposition and then came back to him to say that the result which favoured Barrow was the will of the Gambian people, an assertion he rejected.
“I said “how the hell do you mean by this is the will of the Gambian people when 360 000 voters have not voted, 40% of the registered voters didn’t vote, for the first time”,” he argued.
“I made it very clear that I will not accept it and that is where I stand up to today… All I want is to go back to the Gambian people and this is where I stand today, tomorrow and a day after tomorrow for a billion years,” he added.
According to the current disputed results released by the IEC, Jammeh got 208, 487 votes while Adama Barrow got 227, 708 votes and Mamma Kandeh got 89, 768 votes.
The total voter registration was 886, 578 votes which meant that 360, 615 (about 41%) did not vote.The Bar Association said they were in Banjul on a facts finding mission with the hoping of helping the country resolve its crisis.