Following the failure of the mediation team to persuade President Yahya Jammeh to step down, the Gambian leader has telephoned ECOWAS Chairperson, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, to release judges to come to the country and “help resolve the crisis constitutionally.”
Mr. Jammeh said: “With regards to our last meeting when you came here. I want to request your assistance as the Chairperson of ECOWAS authority of heads of states to help us resolve this impasse peacefully through the court. I hereby request you for ECOWAS to facilitate the release of the judges so that they can come and help us resolve constitutionally through the constitution of The Gambia.”
“As I said, the only resolution of the impasse is through the court. Everything that we are doing is based on the constitution of the republic of The Gambia.
“An application has also been filed at the Supreme Court of The Gambia for an injunction to restrain Adama Barrow from being sworn in, as well as restrain the chief justice and any other party from swearing in Adama Barrow into office until this application is decided either way and the status quo must remain.”
Mr. Jammeh made it clear he will not stand aside until the country’s Supreme Court decides on his legal challenge seeking to annul the results of last month’s polls, which he initially conceded losing.
The country’s Chief Justice announced this week that the matter could only be looked into in March since Nigerian and Sierra Leoneans judges expected to start sitting on the matter on 10 January did not show up.
The Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS), a 15-nation bloc, has repeatedly called on Mr. Jammeh to respect the result of the vote that delivered Mr. Barrow victory, and step down after 22 years in power.
President Jammeh’s term ends on Thursday.