Adama Barrow addressing the nation

(JollofNews) – Gambia’s president-elect Adama Barrow today called on President Yahya Jammeh to respect the will of the Gambian people and handover power in January.

Mr Barrow said Mr Jammeh does not have any power under Gambian law to nullify any election results or to order for fresh elections in the country after his defeat.

He said his administration is opening up a channel of communication to try to convince Mr Jammeh to facilitate a smooth transfer of executive powers in the supreme interest of the Gambia.

Tension is high in the Gambia and security officers are put on stand-by after Mr Jammeh told state television GRTS on Friday that he has rejected the totality of the December 1st election results and called for fresh elections.

Mr Jammeh, 51, who has ruled the Gambia since July 1994 had initially conceded defeat and praised the country’s electoral system as “the most transparent election in the whole world,” adding that he would not contest the result.

Final results by the electoral commission said Mr Barrow secured 227, 708 votes representing 43 per cent of the general votes while Mr Jammeh secured 208, 487 votes representing 40 per cent of the votes.

But Mr Jammeh later accused the electoral commission of committing serious errors which undermined the outcome of the final results.

Addressing the nation, Mr Barrow said: “Fellow citizens and friends of the Gambia I wish to take this opportunity as president-elect to allay your fears and concerns.

Mr Jammeh is trying to cling on to power

On the first day of December the Gambia held presidential elections. On the second day of December the results were declared according to law.

The incumbent candidate called me to congratulate me for my victory. The outgoing president told me in a simple clear language that the results were the verdict of people and god. 

The gesture was applauded both at home and abroad. The Gambia earned a respectable place in the international community and everybody applauded the action of the outgoing president. This earned the outgoing president and my humble self as incoming president a place in the Gambia and world history.

Yesterday the outgoing president issued a statement on the national media to reject the results of the election. He declared it as invalid and promised to hold fresh elections.

I wish to inform you that the outgoing president has no constitutional authority to reject the results of the election and order for fresh elections to held.

The IEC is the only competent authority to announce the results of election and to declare a winner. It has already done so and I am now the president-elect. President Jammeh is the outgoing president. He is to handover executive powers to me when his term expires in January.

I wish to call on all Gambians to go about their business. We have impressed the world for delivering a free, fair and credible elections. I am advising supporters of the coalition to celebrate the victory with discipline and prepare themselves for the inaugurations in January after the end of term of the outgoing president.

Troops have been deployed to the streets of Banjul Photograph: Thierry Gouegnon/Reuters

In the interim, I open up a channel of communication to try to convince him to facilitate a smooth transfer of executive powers in the supreme interest of this country.

I told him in our telephone conversation that we were both born in 1965. We are the children of the independence and it would be a honour to have the smooth transfer of executive power for the first time in the history done by two citizens who were born in the year th Gambia became independent.

I would want him to join me as president of the Second Republic along with ex-president Jawara of the First Republic in January to commemorate the birth of the third republic when I assumed office.

Let him know that leaders come and go. Sooner of later, I must also go. This a fact that all of us act all times in the supreme interest of the Gambia.

I urge him to change his current position and accept the verdict of the people in good faith for the sake of the Gambia our homeland whose people deserve to live in peace, freedom and prosperity.”