The National Youth Parliament – The Gambia

The National Youth Parliament – The Gambia strongly condemns the outgoing President’s statement issued on December 9th supposedly annulling the December 1st Presidential Election results. We found his statement as not only threatening the peace and stability of the Gambia but also a blatant disregard of the supreme law of the land, our constitution and the norms of democracy.

As an institution that represents the youths of The Gambia, The National Youth Parliament has been observing public elections in the Gambia since 2006. We have conducted voter education campaigns, mobilized young people to vote in elections and to respect the democratic process as a means to take responsibility and leadership in the affairs of their society.

Our observation mission found the December 1st presidential elections to be free, peaceful and credible and the results reflect the undiluted will of the people of the Gambia. We found no incidences of malpractices and unfairness during the voting or counting of the results in all the places we observed around the country. Hence we believe the allegations made on the 9th December by the Outgoing President against the results are immaterial. We consider this election as genuine and all leaders, not least Outgoing President Yaya Jammeh must respect the result and prepare himself to step down.

As young people, we fervently believe that Democracy and Good Governance are central values that we must nurture and uphold as future leaders of our great country. We believe the Gambian people have spoken at the December 1st polls and their choice should be respected. We are therefore calling on the Outgoing President to withdraw his December 9th statement and maintain his acceptance speech, which was made on the 2nd December and work with President-elect Adama Barrow on a transition process that the Gambian people deserve. We urge Outgoing Pres. Jammeh to demonstrate leadership and commitment to the values and ideals of democracy at this critical juncture of our history and after 22 years of his rule.

We would like to call on all Gambians to stay calm and allow the political leaders, President-elect Adama Barrow and his team to work with the out-going government Dr. Jammeh on a smooth transition as expected in a democratic society.

The National Youth Parliament – The Gambia would call on all state institutions and security services to play their customary role and stay committed to their responsibility as servants of the Gambian people.

To the International Community, we would call on you to stand in solidarity with our great country and her people as we go through this historic first democratic transition of power since independence. We would however like to impress on Outgoing Pres. Yaya Jammeh that the National Youth Parliament – The Gambia and indeed all youths of the Gambia will neither accept the annulment of the result nor any prolongation of his rule, which expires in January 2017.

We would further make it categorically clear that the youth of this country will not cooperate with him in anyway but will stand firm to ensure that the peace and stability of this country is maintained and that leaders are held to account as per our laws.

Yours in the Service of the Nation

Lamin Saidykhan, Acting Speaker- National Youth Parliament, The Gambia