The head of Gambia’s electoral commission, Alieu Momarr Njie has reportedly retreated to neighbouring Senegal due to threats on his life caused by his declaration of Adama Barrow as the winner of the December 1 election, which President Yahya Jammeh has since refused to accept.
Mr. Njai reportedly deserted the country for Senegal on Friday.
Gambians took to the polls on December 1 to elect a new president, little did most know that they would indeed be electing a new president, Adama Barrow. President Jammeh had ruled the Gambia since taking over in a coup in 1994, therefore, most if not all Gambians know nothing of a Gambia without President Jammeh in power.
Prior to the election, the opposition parties formed a coalition, which saw Adama Barrow emerge the presidential candidate. To the surprise of Gambians, he also emerged the winner of the election. President Jammeh had also conceded defeat upon the Gambia’s electoral commission’s announcement of Barrow as the President-elect of the Gambia.
However, a week later he ate his words by stating he won’t accept the outcome of the elections, citing irregularities during the vote counting process. The Gambia’s electoral commissioner, however maintained that Adama Barrow was the winner of the December 1 election
Following President Jammeh’s rejectance of the result, Gambian security forces seized control of the Independent Electoral Commission headquarters, and told all staff, including Njie, to leave.
International powers have condemned President Jammeh’s decision to cling to power. Regional leaders have also urged him to accept the people’s choice in order to prevent Gambia from plunging into civil war. The possibility of a military intervention has also been mentioned, in the event that President Jammeh prevents the swearing-in of President-elect Adama Barrow.
The inauguration of Adama Barrow is set to hold on January 19.