Dictator Yahya Jammeh on the phone congratulating Adama Barrow
In an unannounced televise address to the nation, Yahya Jammeh on Tuesday told the nation that he is ready to dialogue and resolve the political impasse in the country.
Jammeh said even though he religiously believed that he was cheated in the December polls, he is ready to resolve the crisis internally without the intervention of the outside world.
The current political crisis came as a result of Mr Jammeh’s rejection of the December 1st election results, even though he originally accepted the same results. Mr Jammeh lost to President-Elect Adama Barrow the opposition coalition candidate who polled more than 43% of the vote according to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC).
After his ill-advised rejection of election results and subsequent announcement of annulling the election results, Mr Jammeh took his case to the Supreme Court for redress. However, the Supreme Court has not been in session for more than 20 months and as a results, his petition could not continue on Tuesday and the judge advised his party to enter into dialogue to end the impasse.
Mr Jammeh’s term in office will expire on the 18th January 2017 and the President-Elect Adama Barrow’s term will begin on the 19th January 2017. However Mr Jammeh has not made mentioned of Mr Barrow’s inauguration which is due in 8 days time.
The political impasse led to many civilians fleeing the Kombos heading either to the provinces or to the neighbouring Senegal. Mr Jammeh gave assurance that he will do everything possible to end the current political crisis and issued an executive order to end arrest of political opponents.
“I assure everyone that as a Gambian, a Muslim, and a family man no foreigner can love this country and hold its highest interest of heart more than myself and the majority of Gambians. So I will also be taking all possible steps within the constitution and my conscience to do my part to resolve this impasse; “In this connection, I hereby issue an executive order to that effect that nobody be arrested or prosecuted due to acts or omissions in the pre and post electoral period from November 1st 2016 to Jan 31st 2017,” Mr Jammeh declared.
Mr Jammeh added that his will continue to liaise with the National assemble to uphold the constitution of the land “Cabinet sat and we will continue to sit and liaise with the National Assembly to take all constitutional measures to make sure that the supremacy of the rule of law and the constitution in the next few days.”
Mr Jammeh continued and said the secretary-general will work with the National Assembly to draft an amnesty bill to confirm and ensure that there is no witch-hunt in order to restore a climate of confidence and security within constitutional mandate.
“As the whole world has seen, we continue as a people to exhibit the highest degree of fraternity and despite the heated passions we have maintained to the highest degree the virtues of patience, tolerance and mutual respect across ethnic and faith lines.”
He appealed to Gambians to forgive each other especially the political leaders and ask them continue to work together to treat and consolidate peace and harmony in their beloved country.
Mr Jammeh also added that as humans mistakes are bound to be made and called on the nation to forgive each other “As we are all human and bound to make mistakes, we therefore accept this as a test on our faith by Allah individually and collectively as believing people. I ask all Gambians and other nationals in the country to go about their business in peace and security and I assure you that Allah willing all will continue to be well and this will all be resolved in peace.”