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.
A decree issued late Wednesday claimed the authorities had received reports the IEC would be burnt down, stating: “Now that the threat has abated, the IEC head office will reopen.”
The Gambia is facing prolonged political deadlock as Jammeh has said he will await a Supreme Court ruling in the case, delayed until January 10, before ceding power.
The president’s stance has stoked international concerns about the future of the tiny west African country, with the UN joining African leaders in calling for him to step down.
Full Article: Gambia President Orders Electoral Commission Reopened.