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.
Among the irregularities cited in the petition brought against the Independent Electoral Commission and Gambia’s attorney-general were the different results reported the day after the election and again on December 5. It also questioned why some 360,000 registered voters did not make it to the polls.
The commission said the vote was transparent, fair and accurate. The results it gave on December 5 were updated totals, but the commission said the new counts did not change the outcome and that Barrow still was the winner.