David Martin MEP has strongly condemned the statement from outgoing President Jammeh announcing that he does not accept the outcome of the recent Gambian elections and that his opinion declares the result ‘null and void’:
"This is an affront to democracy and betrayal of the rights of all Gambians.
"Jammeh’s regime is notorious for its extensive repression of opposition figures and activists. The Gambian people elected President-elect Barrow fairly and freely by a clear majority and their decision must be upheld. It is not for individuals to decide the veracity of an election.
"The Chairman of the Electoral Commission has confirmed that a recount will not change the result. I commend his bravery and resilience. There is no legal basis on for President Jammeh to annul the elections. This is an obvious and reprehensible attempt to retain his 22-year grip on power and rob his people of a democratic election.
"I welcome the statement by the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs, the UN Security Council, Ghana and others urging President Jammeh to respect the outcome of the election and stand aside peacefully. Until such a time, I urge all parties to remain calm and vigilant against disruptive forces. The sudden increase in military presence on the streets in the Gambia is an unacceptable and a worrying sign of President Jammeh’s insecurity.
"It is crucial that all parties reject any violence and adhere to the rule of law. The Gambia’s election two weeks ago was a beacon of hope to many across the region who also hope for free, fair, peaceful elections where the popular verdict wins the day.
"I call on President Jammeh to abide by the sovereign will of his people, withdraw his rejection of the election results and facilitate a peaceful and smooth transfer of power to the President-elect. The Gambian people deserve certainty for the future they voted for."