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No Going Back: Jammeh Challenges Election Result In Court After Au Leaders’ Visit

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BEVERLY HILLS, December 14, (THEWILL) – The political party of Yahya Jammeh, President of Gambia, his filed a petition at the Supreme Court to challenge his defeat in the December 1 election.

The petition was filed after a delegation of African leaders met with Jammeh, hoping to persuade him to hand over power to President-elect Adama Barrow.

Jammeh insists that the result of the December 1 polls should be annulled supported by the Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC) in a document handed to the registrar of the Supreme Court in the capital, Banjul, citing irregularities in the official results.

President Muhammadu Buhari, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Sierra Leone's President Ernest Bai Koroma and Ghana's President John Mahama met with Jammeh in the Gambian capital, Banjul, on Tuesday to press Jammeh to hand over to Barrow.

Earlier on Tuesday, security forces blocked the entrance to the electoral commission in Banjul, while the chief of defence staff vowed to remain loyal to Jammeh, indicating that the country's military would help him stay in power.

Last week, Jammeh announced his intention to challenge the election results, even though he had earlier conceded the election to Barrow.

The 51-year-old, who has ruled the West African country for 22 years, deployed heavily-armed military and police to the streets of the capital.

He officially has 60 days to hand over power which may be avoided as he exerts strong influence over the court, which has not held a session for a year and a half.

He won four previous elections that were criticised by rights monitors, and has survived several coup attempts, the latest in December 2014.

In October, he announced Gambia's withdrawal from the International Criminal Court (ICC) and also withdrew the former British colony from the Commonwealth in 2013, saying it was a neo-colonial institution.

Story by Oputah David