Gambian Civil Society Calls for President Yahya Jammeh to Step Down

Country: The Gambia
December 15, 2016


A week after conceding defeat to Adama Barrow in the 2016 presidential election, Yahya Jammeh, Gambia’s outgoing President, retracted his support of the results. On December 12, 2016, The Gambian Bar Association (GBA), a membership group of legal practitioners based in The Gambia, issued a statement condemning President Jammeh’s rejection of the election results and urged him to peacefully stepdown. According to the GBA, there is “no legitimate legal mechanism” the President can use to challenge the results.


The Institute for Human Rights and Development in Africa  (IHRDA), an NGO that works to improve human rights in Africa, also released a statement claiming that Jammeh’s refusal to concede conflicts with Article 9 of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) protocol. Article 9 calls upon political candidates who lose an election to concede defeat to the declared winner. The Gambia has ratified the protocol, and is also a signee of the “African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance,” which requires African governments to support the results of free and fair elections.