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“I am not a coward, I won’t step down”, says Gambian president, Jammeh

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Gambian President Yahya Jammeh has reiterated he won’t step down despite losing the December 1 election, despite the several pleas from West African leaders and Western powers to hand over power peacefully.

Jammeh initially conceded defeat on state television after 22 years in power, but a week later reversed his position, denouncing the election results and demanding a new vote.

According to a report on Aljazeera said Jammeh insisted he won’t handover power in a broadcast on state television on Tuesday.

“I am not a coward. My right cannot be intimidated and violated. This is my position. Nobody can deprive me of that victory except the Almighty Allah,” Jammeh said.

“Already the Ecowas [economic community of west African states] meeting was a formality. Before they came, they had already said Jammeh must step down. I will not step down,” he said.

It came a day after president-elect Adama Barrow said he was ready to take office on January 18 – the day Jammeh’s mandate ends.

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“I am not a coward. My right cannot be intimidated and violated. This is my position. Nobody can deprive me of that victory except the Almighty Allah,” Jammeh said.

He also condemned West Africa’s regional bloc ECOWAS for what he termed “meddling” in The Gambia’s affairs.

The political crisis in The Gambia will be settled internally and peacefully, Jammeh said, adding he would maintain his position of challenging the election result.

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