By Kebba Jeffang
The president-elect Adama Barrow told the press on Saturday, 10 December, that the president should step down to maintain his global applauded decision he made voluntarily, a week ago and must know that he has no constitutional authority to reject the results of the election.
He recalled that on December 1, the Gambia held its presidential elections and on the 2 December, the results were declared according to law.
According to President Elect Barrow, the incumbent candidate called him to congratulate him for his victory. He said the outgoing president told him in a simple, clear language that the results were the verdict of people and God.
“The gesture was applauded both at home and abroad. The Gambia earned a respectable place in the international community and everybody applauded the action of the outgoing president. This earned the outgoing president and my humble self as incoming president a place in the Gambia and world history,” said Barrow.
“Yesterday the outgoing president issued a statement on the national media to reject the results of the election. He declared it as invalid and promised to hold fresh elections. I wish to inform you that the outgoing president has no constitutional authority to reject the results of the election and order for fresh elections to be held,” he said.
He clarified that IEC is the only competent authority to announce the results of election and to declare a winner, adding it has already done so and he is now the president-elect. He said President Jammeh is the outgoing president and he is to handover executive powers to him when his term expires in January.
“I wish to call on all Gambians to go about their businesses. We have impressed the world for delivering a free, fair and credible election. I am advising supporters of the coalition to celebrate the victory with discipline and prepare themselves for the inaugurations in January after the end of term of the outgoing president,” he said.
He said in the interim, he has opened up a channel of communication to try to convince him to facilitate a smooth transfer of executive powers in the supreme interest of this country.
Barrow said “I told him in our telephone conversation that we were both born in 1965. We are the children of the independence and it would be an honour to have the smooth transfer of executive power for the first time in the history done by two citizens who were born in the year the Gambia became independent. I would want him to join me as president of the Second Republic along with ex-president Jawara of the First Republic in January to commemorate the birth of the third republic when I assume office.”
“Let him know that leaders come and go. Sooner or later, I must also go. This is a fact that all of us act at all times in the supreme interest of the Gambia. I urge him to change his current position and accept the verdict of the people in good faith for the sake of the Gambia our homeland whose people deserve to live in peace, freedom and prosperity,” Barrow concluded.
Halifa Sallah, the spokesperson said the outgoing president called the president-elect and indicated that he was willing for a smooth transfer of power and that would require setting up two teams, one from each side and they will negotiate because running a government is about running ministries, public corporations. So it means that if you are transferring power, you are transferring the strategic plans, programmes of actions and projects, so it is important to have a transitional phase where the two teams will work together to be able to get an inventory of what is happening on the other side, he said.
He said this is to ensure that the next cabinet ministers will not face a vacuum. According to Sallah, this was working well until the outgoing president made the change of decision on Friday which upset the whole agenda. He said the IEC has been communicating to all parties and are being transparent all along.
He stated that the Constitution of the Gambia made it clear that the incoming president should assume office upon the expiration of the term of the outgoing president. He urged the Gambian people to do away with the mentality of whether Jammeh will insist but people must know that if he does that he is doing an unlawful act.