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Yahya Jammeh Gambia’s President maintains stand on not handing over power

President Jammeh has maintained he is yet to go back on his stand on not handing over power after his loss at the polls in 2016.

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Gambian President Yahya Jammeh lost December 1 elections to opposition candidate Adama Barrow but has vowed to challenge the results in court play

Gambian President Yahya Jammeh lost December 1 elections to opposition candidate Adama Barrow but has vowed to challenge the results in court

(AFP/File)

President Yahya Jammeh on Thursday in Banjul reiterated his stand that he would not step down as Gambian leader when his mandate ends on Wednesday.

The information ministry said in a statement read on national television that Jammeh was planning to remain in office until the Supreme Court decides on a petition he filed.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Jammeh is challenging the result of the Dec. 1 presidential election he lost to Adama Barrow.

Barrow, a former real estate agent who was little known before he announced his candidacy, meanwhile has also reiterated he is planning to take office on Jan. 19, as scheduled.

Earlier this week, Gambia’s dysfunctional Supreme Court adjourned hearing Jammeh’s petition to Monday, since only one of a required minimum of five judges were present.

Experts however believe it will be highly unlikely that four additional judges will be present on Monday.

This is because the Supreme Court has not been operational since Jammeh fired several of the court’s judges in mid-2016.

ALSO READ: Nigeria lawmakers offer Gambian President asylum

All other eligible Court of Appeal judges left the country after the December election.

Observers fear that delays to the planned hand-over of power could lead to violence as Gambia has been in a political lockdown since Jammeh refused to accept the result.

Meanwhile, some West African leaders, including Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari, are expected to arrive in Gambia to convince Jammeh to respect the constitution and hand over the presidency.

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