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The coalition of opposition parties in The Gambia has expressed confidence that the petition filed by President Yahya Jammeh challenging the election of Adama Barrow at the country’s Supreme Court will not stop the presidential inauguration of the president-elect on January 19, 2017.
Addressing a press conference in Abuja, yesterday, on behalf of the coalition, leaders of National Reconciliation Party (NRP) and Gambia Moral Congress (GMC), Hon Hamat N.K. Bah and Hon Mai Ahmad Fatty, noted that the president-elect, Barrow, won the election in a landslide, saying President Jammeh had earlier congratulated him and promised to hand over power peacefully.
Hon Fatty, however, said it was unfortunate that the president changed his mind afterwards and decided to challenge the election in the Supreme, adding that for the first time in 22 years, since the outgoing government came into power, Gambians have a breathing space.
“President Jammeh subsequently changed his mind and filed a petition in the Supreme Court; which is his right. But our constitution is very clear on the matter. When you lose an election and you are not satisfied, you can file in a petition in the Supreme.

“Importantly, for over a year and half now, the Gambian Supreme Court has not been constituted. And it’s already too late for President Jammeh to do that now, because that will make a judge in his own case. It is against the principle of natural justice.
“The position of the law on the matter is very clear; when a petition is filed in the Supreme Court, it must be heard and decided within 30 days. And it is already 10 days since the President Jammeh filed his petition, challenging the election of Barrow; and it is not likely that the matter will be decided before January 19, 2017,” Hon Fatty explained.
He disclosed that a coalition of seven political parties came together to field an independent candidate, the president-elect Adama Barrow, in the December 1 presidential election.

He said the opposition leaders subdued their political ambitions in the overall interest of the Gambian people.

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