Gambia – The Supreme Court of Gambia has rejected a plea that challenged the victory of sitting President Adama Barrow in the presidential election conducted on December 4. The challenge plea was made by the opposition party of the Gambia seeking annulment of the election result. Ousainou Darboe, leader of the United Democratic Party (UDP), had alleged that the election campaign was tainted by bribery and corruption.
Chief Justice Hassan B Jallow wrote in his judgment that was announced on Tuesday, rejecting the election result challenge plea, “The UDP failed to comply with the requirement of Rule 11 of the Election Petition Rule, which required that you file a motion or petition and security.”
Barrow was announced the winner of the December 4 Presidential election registering 53 percent of the total votes. Darboe, the Gambian vice president in Barrow’s administration, managed to secure about 28 percent votes. Two other candidates rejected the election results, citing alleged nuisances at polling stations, but failed to provide any evidence.
The 73-year-old Darboe said in a post on Facebook on Tuesday that he did not consider the decision by Supreme Court a personal loss, as the petition was dismissed based on a technical reason rather than on the “merit of its claims”. “We have not lost anything because the petition was not dismissed based on merit but a mere technicality,” Darboe said. “We should be proud of ourselves for what we have done and will continue to do for the country.”
It is alleged that during the election campaign, Barrow or members of his party the National People’s Party had used bribery in form of cash and gifts to procure votes of the villagers, and also had infiltrated the election commission. It was also alleged that foreign nationals had illegally cast ballots in the election while charging that the vote counting procedure too was marred with indiscretions.
“I am calling on the opposition… to unconditionally accept the verdict of the Supreme Court,” Barrow said after the court’s ruling on Tuesday. “My opponents have exhausted all avenues and should now join forces to develop the country.”