President Yahya Jammeh will not be stepping down and there will no inauguration for President-elect Adama Barrow until the Supreme Court makes a final ruling on the APRC election petition, says Edu Gomez, Attorney for the Gambian president.
The Supreme Court ruling is not expected to happen until in May or November and Gomez said he will urge his client, Mr. Jammeh to continue pursuing his rights to remain president.
“…..nonetheless as our constitution provides only the Supreme Court can review our challenge and only the Supreme Court declare anyone President and so I ask each and every one of us to respect the supreme law of the republic and await the Supreme Court review of the election results,” President Jammeh said in a statement on Tuesday.
Gambia’s Chief Justice urged the longtime African ruler to embrace the offer from ECOWAS mediators. The West African leaders led by Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari are due in Banjul on Friday for the second round of talks.
Jammeh’s new Information Minister Seedy Njie told the BBC is will be illegal and unconstitutional for Mr. Barrow to be sworn in while President Jammeh’s petition is still in court.
The winning opposition coalition said the petition does not bar the inauguration of Barrow and his assumption of the presidency.
Jammeh had in the past being sworn in while election petitions were pending in the Supreme Court.
Jammeh is running out of options to hold on to power and has appointed a new member of his cabinet Musa Jallow to meet “all parties to resolve any mistrust and issues” and for the Attorney General to draft an amnesty bill to ensure there is “no witch-hunt” to restore a climate of confidence and security.
President Yahya Jammeh’s refusal to step down after suffering defeat has made the political stability of The Gambia very cloudy. The economy is already feeling the pinch as many become internally displaced and others flee the country into neighboring Senegal.