Gambian President Yaya Jammeh declared on Tuesday a state of public emergency in the country. The move came ahead of the inauguration of President-elect Adama Barrow, who is due to be sworn in January 19.

GambiaThe West African country has been in a political crisis since December 9 when Jammeh, who lost the December 1 presidential elections and conceded defeat, changed his mind and refused to hand power over to Barrow.

Jammeh said on Tuesday section 34 of the Gambian Constitution allows him to declare the state of emergency to prevent the current crisis from leading “to breakdown of law and order”.

“Under this state of public emergency, civil liberties are to be fully respected while all citizens and residents in The Gambia are banned from any acts of disobedience to the laws of The Gambia, and of incitement to violence and acts intended to disturb public order and peace,” he said in a televised speech Tuesday evening.

“The security forces are hereby instructed to maintain absolute law and order throughout the country,” he told the Gambians.

This came after Jammeh failed to annual the December election results and stop the inauguration of Barrow through the courts.

However, Jammeh said his declaration is necessitated by external interferences in the country’s internal affairs, the fleeing of the electoral commission chief and lack of judges to preside over his election petition.

He added that the declaration is also to “prevent a constitutional crisis and power vacuum pending the determination of the petitions at the Supreme Court and the application for an injunction against swearing in Adama Barrow or anybody as president of the Islamic Republic of the Gambia, until the Supreme Court decides on the December 1, 2016 Presidential Election results”.

Following the announcement, the National Assembly where Jammeh’s ruling party enjoys overwhelming majority, passed a resolution to approve the declaration.

Yet, the declaration came at a time when many ministers from Jammeh’s cabinet resigned. Five cabinet ministers were reported to have resigned on Tuesday, bringing a total of 8 resignations so far. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/


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