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‘Unacceptable Mistakes’: Gambia’s Jammeh Rejects Election Results

President Yahya Jammeh of the Gambia Friday rejected the results of last weeks election accusing the country’s electoral commission of com...

President Yahya Jammeh of the Gambia Friday rejected the results of last weeks election accusing the country’s electoral commission of committing ‘unacceptable mistakes’.

Mr Jammeh, 51, who has ruled the Gambia since July 1994, lost the election to Adama Barrow of the opposition coalition.

Final results by the electoral commission said Mr Barrow secured 227, 708 votes representing 43 per cent of the general votes while Mr Jammeh secured 208, 487 votes representing 40 per cent of the votes.

Mr Jammeh had initially conceded defeat and praised the country’s electoral system as “the most transparent election in the whole world,” adding that he would not contest the result. 

Speaking at the time, he said: “I take this opportunity to congratulate Mr Adama for his victory. It’s a clear victory. I wish him all the best and I wish all Gambians the best. As a true Muslim who believes in the Almighty Allah I will never question Allah’s decision. You Gambians have decided.”
Gambia's Elections Have been Disputed

But in a televised statement on state television, Mr Jammeh said: “After the acceptance of my results without any query, the IEC chairman wrote the following statement: “The tabulation of the 2016 Presidential election results from 53 constituencies was done correctly.

Furthermore, regional election results were also tabulated correctly from Banjul to Basse Administrative Areas. However, when the total votes per region were being tallied, certain figures were inadvertently transposed.

“Instead of adding the total number of votes polled by Adama Barrow in Basse administrative area, the IEC added the total number of ballots cast for Basse administrative area to Adama Barrow’s total number of votes thus swelling the number of votes Mr Barrow polled nationally.

This error was repeated across for other contesting candidates. Having noticed this, the error is now corrected. He added: “The total number of votes transposed was not mentioned. How they rectified the error was not mentioned.

And with their rectification, the came up with this results. For Adama Barrow 227, 708 votes, for me 208, 487 votes and for Mamma Kandeh 89, 768 votes.

“Another thing that is unprecedented in the 22 years that I have been in power is that all the political parties were called to the IEC headquarters on Monday to tell them that there were errors made not from the part of the electorates but from the IEC which are unacceptable.

“On this note, I want to make it very clear that in the same way that I accepted faithfully the results believing that the IEC was independent and honest and reliable, I hereby reject the results in totality. Let me repeat, I will not accept the results based on what has happened.”

Mr Jammeh said throughout this week his party have been conducting investigations to get to the bottom of what has happened and why over 300,000 registered voters did not vote in the election.

“Our investigations revealed that in some cases voters were told that the opposition had already won and there was no need for them to vote and out of anger some of them returned home,” he said.

Mr Jammeh recommended fresh and transparent election which will be officiated by God-fearing and independent IEC body. He called on the public to remain united, peaceful and to continue going out on their businesses. - Online Sources

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