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Gambia’s Jammeh appoints mediator amid political deadlock

Gambia’s Jammeh appoints mediator amid political deadlock
Gambia’s President Yahya Jammeh
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Gambia’s outgoing President Yahya Jammeh on Wednesday appointed a mediator to facilitate meetings between himself and president-elect Adama Barrow.

Jammeh, who ruled the small West African nation with an iron fist for more than two decades, refuses to accept the result of the Dec. 1 presidential polls, which saw him, lose power.

Barrow, a former real estate agent, who was little known before he announced his candidacy, is scheduled to take office on Jan. 19.

The ruling party’s secretary general will mediate between Jammeh’s supporters and the opposition to “resolve any mistrust and issues,’’ Jammeh said in a televised address to the nation early Wednesday.

He refuses to accept the election result because it was “full of arithmetic errors and anomalies, it also could not be credibly explained,’’ the outgoing president added.

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Jammeh ordered the justice minister and national assembly to draft a general amnesty bill, while issuing an executive order not to arrest or prosecute citizens for “acts or omissions’’ committed during the pre and post electoral period, between Nov. 1 and Jan. 31.

The announcement comes a day after the Supreme Court postponed hearing a court petition filed by Jammeh to challenge the election results.

The case was adjourned to Monday, since only one of a required minimum of five judges was present, the court’s registrar said.

Several West African heads of state meanwhile postponed a meeting with Jammeh aimed at helping to resolve the political crisis from Wednesday to Friday.

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