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Gambia’s Yammeh Refuses to Give Up Power, Declares Emergency

  • VOA Staff

FILE - Gambian President Yahya Jammeh arrives at a polling station with his wife Zineb during the presidential election in Banjul, Gambia, Dec. 1, 2016. Jammeh is challenging the election results, in effect blocking the declared winner, opposition leader Adama Barrow, from assuming power.

Gambian President Yahya Jammeh declared a state of emergency after refusing to accept the results of last month’s election in which he lost to opposition leader Adama Barrow.

In a statement broadcast on state-run television Tuesday, Jammeh said state of emergency would last until the Supreme Court decides on a complaint his political party filed a week after the election citing voting irregularities.

“Under this state of public emergency, civil liberties are to be fully respected while all citizens and residents in the [sic] Gambia are banned from any acts of disobedience to the laws of the Gambia, incitement of violence and acts intended to disturb public order and peace,” he said. “The security forces are hereby instructed to maintain absolute peace, law and order throughout the country.”

WATCH: Jammeh statement on state of emergency

Gambia’s Supreme Court was expected to rule on the case January 10, but postponed the ruling until May because it was unsure that a peaceful political transition would take place.

Barrow had planned on moving forward with the inauguration plans set for January 19 before the state of emergency was announced Tuesday.

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