Pre­serve legacy and agree to a dig­ni­fied exit, Gam­bian leader urged

The Star Early Edition - - WORLD -

JOBURG: A for­mer speaker of the Gam­bia’s Na­tional Assem­bly has ap­pealed to Pres­i­dent Yahya Jam­meh to hand over power to Pres­i­dent-elect Adama Bar­row.

Aja Fa­toumata Jahumpa-Ceesay said it would be in the supreme in­ter­est of Gam­bians, the Gam­bia and the sub-re­gion – and for the preser­va­tion of Jam­meh’s legacy – if he worked with col­leagues in the Eco­nomic Com­mu­nity of West African States and other stake­hold­ers to agree on a peace­ful, dig­ni­fied and am­i­ca­ble exit in a man­ner be­fit­ting a head of state, the Jollofnews Web­site re­ported on Mon­day.

Jam­meh re­fused to step down after los­ing the De­cem­ber 1 pres­i­den­tial elec­tions to Bar­row.

The for­mer pres­i­dent came to power in a 1994 coup.

Se­cu­rity forces shut down two pri­vate ra­dio sta­tions on Mon­day as the cri­sis over Jam­meh’s re­fusal to step down con­tin­ued to es­ca­late.

The clo­sure of Teranga FM and Hill­top Ra­dio was a “slap in the face” for democ­racy, said Emil Touray, the head of The Gam­bia Press Union.

Four Na­tional In­tel­li­gence Agency op­er­a­tives and a po­lice of­fi­cer vis­ited the of­fices of Teranga FM to de­mand its clo­sure, a staff mem­ber said.

This is the first time the me­dia has been tar­geted in a crack­down since the pres­i­den­tial elec­tions fol­low­ing which Jam­meh ini­tially con­ceded de­feat to prop­erty devel­oper Bar­row.

How­ever, shortly af­ter­wards Jam­meh launched court ac­tion to an­nul the pres­i­den­tial re­sults, al­leg­ing they were marred by ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties de­spite the elec­toral com­mis­sion declar­ing they were free and fair.

There has been no of­fi­cial com­ment from the gov­ern­ment.

The Gam­bia ranked 145 out of 180 coun­tries in me­dia cam­paign group Re­porters With­out Bor­ders’ 2016 World Press Free­dom In­dex.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.