Gambia president to challenge election results before Supreme Court News
Gambia president to challenge election results before Supreme Court

Gambian President Yahya Jammeh [BBC profile] said Saturday that he will challenge the election results before his country’s Supreme Court. Jammeh had unexpectedly conceded defeat after the elections commission announced the victory of opposition candidate Adama Barrow. However, Jammeh has now decried [BBC report] “serious and unacceptable abnormalities” and called for fresh polls. Jammeh’s party, the Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction party, stated it was preparing a petition [Reuters report] “against the flawed decision of the Independent Elections Commission.” There is currently no supreme court in Gambia, but there is a Chief Justice. Experts expect four other judges will need to be hired. There is concern over Jammeh’s influence over the court, as he could remove any who disagree with him. The deadline for submitting a challenge to the results is Tuesday. The elections commissions testifies that the results were correct and they can prove so in court.

In November Human Rights Watch reported that intimidation of opposition leaders was threatening [JURIST report] a fair election in Gambia. This report came after the Gambian government announced that it would be leaving [JURIST report] the International Criminal Court (ICC). During the televised statement, Information Minister Sheriff Bojang criticized the court for ignoring western atrocities, referring to the ICC as “an International Caucasian Court.” Jammeh had previously called upon the court to investigate the death of African migrants attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea to access Europe. Instead, Gambia alleges, the ICC has been disproportionately scrutinizing African leaders. Gambia’s intended departure was the third by an African nation.