Gambia’s election chief slips into exile

BANJUL. — The man who oversaw the last presidential elections in Gambia has reportedly fled the country following death threats.

Local media portals say his family confirmed that he was no longer in Gambia, but would also not disclose his location.

Alieu Momar Njai, chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) had earlier vowed to defend the validity of the results he declared on December 2 last year.

He was forced out of his office by security officials on December 13.

Momar Njai has previously been defiant after President Yahya Jammeh’s questioned the validity of the election result, which he lost to opposition coalition candidate, Adama Barrow. Njai said the ruling party was likely to lose any poll petition arising from the elections.

“If it goes to court, we can prove every vote cast. The election results were correct, nothing will change that,” he told Reuters weeks back.

Jammeh’s refusal of the results largely rests on the IEC’s amendment of declared results five days after Barrow had been announced as president-elect. Of the two sets of results, the earlier one announced 24 hours after the polls showed a wide gap between Jammeh and Barrow. An amended one however showed a closer margin between the two.

The original results were as follows:

Adama Barrow won 263,515 votes (45.5 percent).

President Jammeh took 212,099 (36.7 percent).

A third party candidate, Mama Kandeh, won 102,969 (17.8 percent).

The amended results published after the correction:

Adama Barrow won 222,708 votes (43.3 percent).

President Jammeh took 208,487 (39.6 percent). — Africa News.

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