The Gambia

Articles about voting issues in The Republic of The Gambia.

The Gambia: Jammeh Vows Escalation If West Africa States Interfere | Bloomberg

Gambian President Yahya Jammeh said a standoff with neighboring West African states over his refusal to step aside after losing December’s election will escalate into war if the alliance doesn’t back down from its stance. Speaking in a televised New Year’s address, Jammeh said a vow by the Economic Community of West African States to take “all necessary actions” to enforce the Dec. 2 election results violates a principle of “non-interference” and is “in effect a declaration of war.” He said the stance would disqualify member countries from brokering any mediation between the president and opposition leader Adama Barrow, who was declared the election winner.

Full Article: Gambia’s Jammeh Vows Escalation If West Africa States Interfere - Bloomberg.

The Gambia: President Orders Electoral Commission Reopened | AFP

The Gambia’s electoral commission building  reopened on Thursday as the president said it had been shut for safety reasons rather than because of the country’s disputed presidential vote result. President Yahya Jammeh’s political party has lodged a legal complaint against the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) triggered in part by a vote recount in the days following a December 1 election, which ultimately confirmed opponent Adama Barrow’s victory, 22 years after Jammeh took power. The commission buiding was sealed off without warning by security forces on December 13, the same day the complaint to have the result annulled was lodged.

Full Article: Gambia President Orders Electoral Commission Reopened.

The Gambia: Electoral Commission Headquarters Still Under Siege | allAfrica

The headquarters of the Independent Electoral Commission is still occupied by personnel of the Police Intervention Unit. No one has been seen entering or leaving the premises. The reason why the IEC headquarters is being close is still not known to both the staff and the public as a whole but the fact remains that the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) is still on the same storyline as the previous days, that is it is under tight security and the watchful eyes of the PIU personnel. When this Foroyaa reporter got there on Tuesday 27th December, she observed that the premises was as quiet as a grave yard, with no one seen in the premises except some PIU personnel who seized the entire place, allowing no one to enter.

Full Article: Gambia: IEC Headquarters Still Under Siege - allAfrica.com.

The Gambia: Adama Barrow urges Jammeh to quit | BBC

The Gambia’s President-elect Adama Barrow has called on long-serving ruler Yahya Jammeh to give up power peacefully, like former colonial power Britain did in 1965. Mr Barrow, a property developer, said he did not want to lead a nation that was not at “peace with itself”. Mr Jammeh initially accepted defeat in the 1 December poll but then launched court action to annul the result. The Gambia has not had a smooth transfer of power since independence.

Full Article: Gambia crisis: Adama Barrow urges Jammeh to quit - BBC News.

The Gambia: Defiant Gambian president refuses to step aside | Al Jazeera

Gambia’s president has reiterated he will not step down despite losing the December 1 election, as West African leaders and Western powers urge him to hand over power peacefully. Yahya Jammeh initially conceded defeat on state television after 22 years in power, but a week later, reversed his position, denouncing the election results and demanding a new vote. “Unless the court decides the case, there will be no inauguration on January 19,” Jammeh said on Tuesday. His political party has lodged a complaint with the Supreme Court to overturn the December 1 vote result. Last week, Gambian troops took over the Independent Electoral Commission office in the capital, Banjul, and instructed its chairman to leave while barring other employees from entering.

Full Article: Defiant Gambian president refuses to step aside | The Gambia News | Al Jazeera.

The Gambia: President-elect Plans Inauguration Amid Vote Dispute | Associated Press

Gambia’s president-elect says he is ready to take office in January despite the refusal by the West African country’s longtime ruler to accept his election loss. “On the day his term expires, my term as the lawful president of the Gambia begins,” Adama Barrow said in a statement late Sunday. “This is the law of the land. My status as incoming president has unquestionable constitutional legitimacy.” President Yahya Jammeh, who at first surprised Gambians by conceding defeat after 22 years in power, a week later announced that he had changed his mind. He alleges voting irregularities that make the December 1 ballot invalid.

Full Article: Gambia President-elect Plans Inauguration Amid Vote Dispute.

The Gambia: West African leaders aim to enforce Gambian election upset | Associated Press

West African leaders promised Saturday to enforce the results of a Gambian election that was won by a little-known businessman backed by an opposition coalition but rejected by the country’s longtime coup leader. A summit of the Economic Community of West African States ended with all leaders stating they will attend the Jan. 19 inauguration of Gambia’s new president, Adama Barrow. They also pledged to “guarantee the safety and protection of the president-elect,” who has said he fears for his life. Gambian President Yahya Jammeh surprised his fellow citizens by conceding defeat the day after the Dec. 1 vote, and then changed his mind and called for a new election. The United Nations, the United States and the African Union have all condemned the move.

Full Article: West African leaders aim to enforce Gambian election upset | The Charlotte Observer.

The Gambia: Military takes over offices of electoral commission | The Guardian

Yahya Jammeh, the autocratic ruler of the Gambia, has moved to resist his presidential election defeat, sending armed soldiers to take control of the electoral commission headquarters and filing a petition to the supreme court as a delegation of African leaders urged him to stand down. The petition said the electoral commission had “failed to properly collate the results” of the election, which Jammeh lost to challenger Adama Barrow. It came after the president of the electoral commission was thrown out of his office shortly before the leaders’ delegation arrived in the country. “I got there by quarter to eight and when I was going up to my office, one of the cleaners told me they were not allowed in,” Alieu Njie told the Guardian. “I went to my office and a military man came and said I was not allowed to touch anything, so I took my briefcase, got into my car and went home.

Full Article: Gambian military takes over offices of electoral commission | World news | The Guardian.

The Gambia: The Real Reason Gambia’s President Isn’t Stepping Down | Foreign Policy

One of the gentler techniques that Gambian President Yahya Jammeh has used to stay in power for the last 22 years is sacking his staff members seemingly at random, before any of them could conspire against him. From cabinet ministers to diplomats to army chiefs, it wasn’t unusual to serve just months or even weeks in office before getting the bullet — hopefully in the metaphorical sense. But as Jammeh tries to wiggle out of a resounding defeat in this month’s presidential election, the habit of keeping his government in a permanent state of reshuffle has come back to haunt him. Two weeks after he conceded defeat to Adama Barrow, a property developer who once worked as a security guard in Britain, the president had a sudden change of heart, vowing to challenge the election result before the country’s Supreme Court. But Jammeh had sacked so many Supreme Court justices over the last year that the body is legally unable to hear the case unless he appoints four new justices. And as the Gambia Bar Association pointed out in a Dec. 12 statement: “Any Supreme Court empanelled by the outgoing President Jammeh for the purpose of hearing his election petition would be fundamentally tainted.”

Full Article: The Real Reason Gambia’s President Isn’t Stepping Down | Foreign Policy.

The Gambia: Ruling party petitions for fresh election | Associated Press

Gambia’s ruling party pressed for a fresh presidential election on Tuesday as West African regional mediators intervened to try to resolve a mounting political crisis in the tiny country that voted its leader of 22 years out of power less than two weeks ago. A petition signed by the secretary-general of President Yahya Jammeh’s party on Tuesday demanded a new vote with a revalidated voter registry. The document, which was also signed by a notary public and seen by The Associated Press, says the election was not conducted fairly or in good faith and therefore should be invalidated. Jammeh initially acknowledged defeat, even calling the December 1 election fair and conceding to President-elect Adama Barrow in a telephone call broadcast on state television. But he announced last week that he was rejecting the election results.

Full Article: Gambia’s ruling party petitions for fresh election | GulfNews.com.

The Gambia: President urged to accept defeat by new government | The Guardian

The president-elect of the Gambia has demanded that Yahya Jammeh step down immediately, as African leaders prepared to fly in and persuade the country’s autocratic leader to reconsider his refusal to accept defeat and resign. After 22 years in power in the west African nation, it came as a surprise to many when Jammeh, an autocratic leader who had said he would rule for “a billion years if Allah willed it”, accepted defeat in a televised call to Adama Barrow, the leader of the opposition coalition. However, a week later he declared that the vote was “fraudulent and unacceptable” and vowed to take the matter to the country’s supreme court. Barrow and his coalition said Jammeh’s plans were “illegal” and he should resign. Barrow said he was relying on four senior African presidents due to arrive in the country on Tuesday to persuade Jammeh to reverse his pledge to nullify the election and retain power.

Full Article: The Gambia's president urged to accept defeat by new government | World news | The Guardian.

The Gambia: President Rejects Election Outcome | VoA News

Gambia’s President Yahya Jammeh says he rejects the outcome of last week’s elections, after previously conceding defeat and vowing to step down. The president, who has ruled Gambia for more than 22 years, said on state television Friday night that he wants to see new elections. The announcement throws the political future of the West African country into question, and is a dramatic turnaround from last week when Jammeh called opposition candidate Adama Barrow to concede defeat after the president’s unexpected loss. Gambia’s state media broadcast a phone call last Friday in which President Jammeh told Barrow that he wanted to hand over power graciously and vowed not to contest the results of the December 1 election.

Full Article: Gambian President Rejects Election Outcome.

The Gambia: Soldiers on the streets in Gambia as unrest grows after president rejects election result | The Independent

Gambia’s president-elect said on Saturday that the outgoing leader who now rejects his defeat has no constitutional authority to call for another election, and he called on President Yahya Jammeh to help with a smooth transition in the interest of the tiny West African country. Jammeh’s surprise reversal late Friday was certain to spark outrage among the tens of thousands who took to the streets after Adama Barrow was announced the president-elect in the 1 December vote, shouting “Freedom!” The United States and others quickly rejected Jammeh’s new stance, and the African Union on Saturday called for security forces to remain neutral. Soldiers were in the streets of the capital, Banjul, as Gambians closed down shops in fear of unrest. Barrow said the Independent Electoral Commission is the only competent authority to declare a winner.  “It was already done so, and I am the president-elect,” Barrow said. “President Jammeh is the outgoing president. He is to hand over executive powers to me when his term is expires in January.” 

Full Article: Soldiers on the streets in Gambia as unrest grows after president rejects election result | The Independent.

The Gambia: President Jammeh Quits After Suffering Election Loss | Bloomberg

Gambia’s Yahya Jammeh said he’ll step down after losing this week’s presidential election in a remarkable about-face that prompted thousands of Gambians to celebrate the departure from office of a leader who had vowed to rule for a billion years. “Gambians have decided that I should take the backseat,” Jammeh said Friday on state television, hours after the election commission declared that opposition leader Adama Barrow, a virtual unknown six months ago, emerged as winner of the Dec. 1 poll. “You have voted for someone to lead our country. This is our country, and I wish you all the best.” Barrow obtained 263,515 votes, while Jammeh got 212,099, according to the election commission.

Full Article: Gambia President Jammeh Quits After Suffering Election Loss - Bloomberg.

The Gambia: Jammeh in shock election loss after 22-year rule | Reuters

Gambian leader Yahya Jammeh, who once vowed to rule the tiny West African nation for “a billion years”, said he had accepted his shock election defeat on Friday, 22 years after seizing power in a coup. Voting on Thursday against Jammeh was a rare show of defiance against a leader who has ruled by decree and who rights groups say crushes dissent by imprisoning and torturing opponents. In an address broadcast by Gambian state-owned radio on Thursday evening, Jammeh said he would not contest the poll results showing opposition candidate Adama Barrow had won, which had been announced earlier in the day. “If (Barrow) wants to work with us also, I have no problem with that. I will help him work towards the transition,” Jammeh said, before later saying that he planned to move to his farm after leaving office following a handover in January.

Full Article: Gambians celebrate after voting out 'billion year' leader | Reuters.

The Gambia: Officials engage in a count of marbles to determine the winner | Africanews

Gambia’s election Polls closed at 1700 on Thursday when officials began the process of counting the marbles that voters had cast for one of three presidential candidates. Voters on Thursday queued at polling stations all day to place a marble in one of three coloured ballot drums – green for President Yahya Jammeh, grey for Barrow and purple for the third candidate – former ruling party deputy Mama Kandeh. Gambian officials say the system is designed to avoid spoiled ballots and to simplify the process for illiterate voters. State Television announced results from two constituencies outside the capital Banjul showed a slight lead for Jammeh and opposition leader Adama Barrow close behind. Gambian authorities had cut the internet, barred international calls and sealed land borders. The election poses the first serious challenge to President Yahya Jammeh since he seized power in a coup 22 years ago.

Full Article: Gambia election: Officials engage in a count of marbles to determine the winner | Africanews.

The Gambia: Internet and international calls banned during Gambia election | BBC News

The Gambia has banned the internet and international phone calls as presidential elections are held in the West African state.
Officials have also banned demonstrations to prevent unrest after the elections. Estate agent Adama Barrow is challenging President Yahya Jammeh, who says divine intervention will give him a fifth term. The Gambia has not had a smooth transfer of power since independence. Observers say Mr Barrow, who according to British news reports was once a security guard in the UK high street store Argos, has generated fresh enthusiasm among opposition supporters. Human rights groups accuse Mr Jammeh, who has in the past claimed he can cure Aids and infertility, of repression and abuses.

Full Article: Gambia election: Internet and international calls banned - BBC News.

The Gambia: Elections in a ′climate of fear′ | Deutsche Welle

Suddenly, the taxi driver looked at me nervously and fell silent. He had just complained copiously about the situation in his country. With the economy in dire straits – he called it a catastrophe – he had to work two jobs, as a driver and an electrician, just to feed his family. Neither was a steady job. But then I told him that I was a journalist and he was shocked. “It is dangerous to speak openly to people, even within our own families. You can’t trust anyone,” he said.
As a foreign journalist in The Gambia you are constantly confronted with people’s fears of saying the wrong thing. Interviews start by being agreed to, but are then quickly cancelled. “Too busy”, you are told. The international non-governmental organization Human Rights Watch (HRW) talks of a “climate of fear” in this small west-African state. Since staging a successful coup 22 years ago, President Yahya Jammeh has used arbitrary arrests, torture and kidnapping as a way to pressure journalists and civil society to impose self-censorship, a report by HRW said.   

Full Article: The Gambia: elections in a ′climate of fear′ | Africa | DW.COM | 29.11.2016.

The Gambia: No EU observers at Gambia’s election | EurActiv

The former British colony of Gambia goes to the polls on Thursday (1 December) for an election which could see the defeat of incumbent Yahya Jammeh, who has ruled the tiny West African country for 22 years. There will be no EU election observers or observers from the Economic Community of West African States at the vote, in a country which has seen years of hardship and a mass exodus of migrants heading for Europe. Gambians make up the largest group per capita of arrivals to Italy by the Mediterranean, according to figures from the International Organization for Migration. Jammeh once declared he would govern “for a billion years if God willed it”, but he faces a united opposition and frustration over the economy which has dominated the campaign. Around 880,000 Gambians are expected at the polls on Thursday in the tiny former British colony, a narrow sliver of land mostly surrounded by French-speaking Senegal.

Full Article: No EU observers at Gambia’s election – EurActiv.com.

The Gambia: Three journalists arrested in Gambia ahead of election | The Guardian

The director-general of the Gambia’s state TV and radio broadcaster, Momodou Sabally, was dimissed last week and immediately arrested by the security services on unspecified charges. Soon after, a reporter with the same broadcaster, GRTS, Bakary Fatty, was also detained by members of the national intelligence agency, reported Gainako. These arrests were followed by a third. Alhagie Manka, a documentary maker, TV director and and photojournalist, was taken into custody after taking photographs of a presidential motorcade. All three have yet to appear in court, which is said by Human Rights Watch (HRW), to be a violation of Gambian law.

Full Article: Three journalists arrested in Gambia ahead of election | Media | The Guardian.