President Yahya Jammeh

There is confusion in The Gambia following Tuesday night’s broadcast by outgoing President Yahya Jammeh.

He announced the appointment of a mediator – Chief Justice Emmanuel Fagbenle – between himself and President-elect Adama Barrow but still rejected the election outcome, saying the people should wait for the Supreme Court verdict before which he is challenging the outcome.

Already the Court declared on Monday that it could not sit because of a lack of quorum. The sitting, it said won’t take place till May.

The president-elect is due to be inaugurated on January 19.

Jammeh also criticised international pressure for him to step down. President Muhammadu Buhari will on Friday lead an ECOWAS delegation to Banjul for another round of meetings with Jammeh and Barrow on a peaceful transfer of power on January 19.

Gambia has been thrust into a crisis following a December 1 presidential vote, which saw Jammeh losing to Barrow.

Jammeh initially conceded defeat but later reversed his position, lodging a legal case aimed at annulling the result and triggering new elections.

In the Tuesday night surprise address on national television, Jammeh lashed out at “an unprecedented level of foreign interference in our elections and internal affairs and also a sustained smear campaign, propaganda and misinformation”

He attacked ECOWAS, the UN Security Council and the African Union – all bodies that have urged him to respect the election result – for taking “unprecedented and hasty resolutions against our republic and constitution”.

He also appealed for patience, asking Gambians to “await the Supreme Court review and ruling on the election results”.

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