Gambia: President-elect defends ECOWAS on polls results

By Mustapha K. Darboe

BANJUL, Gambia

Gambia’s president-elect Adama Barrow has defended the position taken by the Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS) two days after the defeated President Yahya Jammeh branded them “partisan” in the mediation of the ongoing political situation in the country.

Barrow, a little known property developer, defeated President Jammeh at the small nation’s December 1 presidential polls.

Jammeh admitted the defeat but week later came out and reject the “results in its totality”, claiming “unacceptable irregularities”.

Jammeh said in his New Year message that the “partisan” position of the economic bloc took has disqualified them as genuine mediators that will bring the impasse to a successful end.

However, in a statement released through his spokesperson, Halifa Sallah, Adama Barrow said the AU, UN and the ECOWAS are acting within the Gambian constitution.

“President elect Barrow, ECOWAS, AU and the UN have calculated their steps. Outgoing President Jammeh should also calculate his steps so that no mistakes would be made that would undermine the peace and security of the country,” Sallah told a press conference Monday afternoon.

“President elect Barrow has emphasized in no uncertain terms that the only time the ECOWAS, AU and the UN would have a foot hole in managing Gambian affairs is only if the two presidents failed to do, with impeccable thoroughness, what the constitution of the republic demands of both.”

However, Sallah said both Barrow and ECOWAS recognizes Jammeh’s rights to petition the election results.

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