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Gambian President Yahya Jammeh has declared his “total rejection” of the results of his country’s December 1 election and called for his country to vote again — a week after accepting his defeat.
Jammeh, who has ruled Gambia with an iron grip since seizing power in a 1994 military coup, suffered a shock loss after running for his fifth term in office.
On December 2, Jammeh accepted his defeat and congratulated Adama Barrow on his victory in an address broadcast by Gambian state television. But he now refuses to accept the outcome.
“I announce to you, Gambians, my total rejection of the election results and thereby annulling the elections in its entirety,” he said in a televised speech Friday.
“We will go back to the polls because I want to make sure that every Gambian has voted under an independent electoral commission that is independent, neutral and free from foreign influence.”
Jammeh had been expected to concede power to his opponent Adama Barrow, with the country’s electoral commission announcing last week that the president would do so.