Africa

Gambia leader Yahya Jammeh to contest election defeat in court

Gambian President Yahya Jammeh gesturing at a polling station Image copyright AFP
Image caption Incumbent Gambian President Yahya Jammeh gesturing at a Banjul polling station on election day

Gambian leader Yahya Jammeh says he will launch a legal challenge to contest an election defeat that will bring an end to his 22-year rule.

President Jammeh initially conceded after rival Adama Barrow won last week's vote, but then backtracked on Friday, saying he "totally" rejected the result.

The United Nations Security Council has demanded he accepts defeat.

The streets remain calm despite a heavy army presence in the capital Banjul.

Mr Jammeh's Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction party announced, late on Saturday, that a petition will be filed to The Gambia's Supreme Court.

By law, election results can be contested up to 10 days after the vote.

President-elect Barrow said on Sunday that he feared for his safety. He had previously accused his rival of damaging democracy by refusing to agree to hand over power.

Mr Jammeh, who took power in a coup in 1994, has cited "abnormalities" in the vote and wants a re-run.

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