Gambia MPs extend President Jammeh’s term

The Gambia’s National Assembly has adopted a resolution to allow
President Yahya Jammeh to stay in
power for three more months,
starting from Wednesday, according to state television.

Jammeh, who has ruled The Gambia for 22 years, initially acknowledged opponent Adama Barrow as the winner of elections in December, but later rejected the ballot count as flawed and lodged a complaint with the country’s Supreme Court.

Barrow is due to be inaugurated on
Thursday.

Jammeh had declared a state of
emergency on Tuesday, just days
before he was due to step down, with British and Dutch travel agencies scrambling to evacuate thousands of tourists on Wednesday.

The latest move announced by the
National Assembly will likely raise tension with leaders of the West African bloc ECOWAS who have threatened sanctions or military force to make Jammeh hand over to Barrow.

Barrow is in Senegal and could, in
theory, be sworn in as president at
the Gambian embassy in that
country, which is technically on
Gambian soil.

Jammeh’s decision not to step down has created political turmoil in the country. At least five ministers have resigned from his government, hundreds of people have fled to neighbouring Senegal and others in the country say they fear violence.

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