UN Security Council urges President Jammeh to hand over power

The Council urged him to 'carry out a peaceful and orderly transition process and they requested that the security of the president-elect Adama Barrow, and that of all Gambian citizen be fully ensured.' Photograph:( AFP )

United Nations, United States Dec 11, 2016, 05.00 AM (IST)

The UN Security Council on Saturday urged Gambia's President Yahya Jammeh to accept the presidential election results and hand over power to president-elect Adama Barrow.

Jammeh accepted had defeat in a surprise move a day after the December 1 vote but rejected the results in a televised address on Friday.

The 15 council members called on Jammeh to "respect the choice of the sovereign people of The Gambia, as he did on December 2 2016, and to transfer, without condition and undue delay, power to the President-elect, Mr Adama Barrow."

They urged him to "carry out a peaceful and orderly transition process and they requested that the security of the president-elect Adama Barrow, and that of all Gambian citizen be fully ensured," news agency AFP reported.

Council members condemned Jammeh's call for a new election.

"Let me repeat: I will not accept the results based on what has happened," he said, condemning "unacceptable errors" on the part of electoral authorities in a statement broadcast on state television.

Jammeh claimed "investigations" had revealed that numerous voters had not been able to cast their ballots.

Senegal, a non-permanent member of the Security Council, has requested a meeting to discuss the crisis, which could be held on Monday, diplomats said, AFP said.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for a peaceful transition of power "n full respect of the will of the Gambian people as expressed in the election". 

President-elect Barrow said Jammeh had no legal standing and urged him to accept the results on Saturday.

Barrow, a property developer and political unknown till six months back, comfortably won the Dec 1 election with 45.54 per cent. Barrow was chosen as the opposition leader by a group of political parties who have joined forces for the first time and won unprecedented popular support.

(With inputs from AFP)