The Gambia’s defeated President Yahya Jammeh this evening declared a state of emergency, two days before he transfers power to President-elect Adama Barrow. The 90-day emergency takes effect immediately.

Despite international pressure and threats of regional military intervention, Mr. Jammeh is refusing to step down.

In a television announcement, Jammeh squarely blames “the unprecedented level of foreign involvement in the Gambia’s election.”

The state of emergency declaration came after the Gambia’s rubberstamping parliament passed a bill to that effect. Jammeh’s ruling APRC party Majority Leader moved a motion to declare emergency rule as well as expand the terms of both the defeated President and the Parliament for 90 days.

Yahya Jammeh at first accepted defeat but recanted a week later, citing electoral irregularities. He called for fresh election to be held. Jammeh’s fight to turn the results upside down at the Supreme Court did not yield fruits either. His legal injunction to prevent Adama Barrow from being sworn into office also met the rock after the Chief Justice Emmanuel Fagbenle recuse himself from the case. Jammeh wants an extension of his mandate until the Supreme Court decides on his election petition.

West Africa’s regional bloc has a standby force for possible military intervention if Jammeh doesn’t step down when his mandate ends this week.

President-elect Barrow is quartered in Dakar, Senegal until his inauguration on Thursday when he is expected to be escorted to the Gambia.

Ends

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