Gambian soldiers end occupation of election headquarters

Gambia’s security forces took over offices of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) on December 13, 2016.

The offices of Gambia’s Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) have been vacated by the military that sacked workers and took over the premises on December 13.

The seizure which was roundly condemned by the international community came only four days after President Yahya Jammeh rejected the results of the December 1.

A government statement stated that all staff of the IEC could return to post immediately and that the reason for the closure was because of an imminent security threat.

The statement said the building was going to be burnt down. ‘‘Now that the threat has abated, the IEC head office will reopen’‘. It said.

The government also said it was aware of fake news outlets spreading bad information about the Gambia. It assured all citizens home and abroad that there was no cause for worry and people should go about their daily businesses in the normal way.

President Jammeh lost the presidential polls to less-known Adama Barrow. He conceded defeat before reversing his decision. Barrow’s camp have said they are going ahead with plans for his inauguration even though the country’s Supreme Court has also scheduled January 10, 2017 for an election petition hearing.

Mayor of Banjul supports Barrow

The mayor of the Gambian capital, Banjul, Abdoulie Bah, has stated that the president-elect Barrow is the choice of the people affirming his support for the property developer who defeated Jammeh at the polls.

‘‘We want a healthy environment to see that there is peace within The Gambia… And we advise each and every Gambian to understand that it is only peace which is going to prevail as far as we are concerned. This is the main message that brought me here,” Bah told the press after meeting with Barrow.

Bah is an independent candidate who has been mayor of the capital since 2013 after beating the ruling party’s candidate. While praying for peaceful transfer of executive power, he said the capital will respect the people’s choice which he added was the choice of God.

Jammeh lost in Banjul in the December 1 polls, official results from the IEC indicated that Adama Barrow beat Jammeh after he took nearly 50 percent of the vote in Banjul’s three constituencies. Jammeh had 43 percent whiles the third candidate Mama Kandeh got 7.6 percent.

 

Zainab Sa’id