Jammeh, who ruled the small West African nation with an iron fist for more than two decades, refuses to accept the result of the December 1 presidential polls, which saw him lose power.
He refuses to accept the election result because it was “full of arithmetic errors and anomalies, it also could not be credibly explained,” the outgoing president added.
Jammeh ordered the justice minister and national assembly to draft a general amnesty bill, while issuing an executive order not to arrest or prosecute citizens for “acts or omissions” committed during the pre- and post-electoral period, between November 1 and January 31.
The announcement comes a day after the Supreme Court postponed hearing a court petition filed Jammeh to challenge the election results.
The case was adjourned to Monday, since only one of a required minimum of five judges were present, the court’s registrar told dpa.
Experts however believe it will be highly unlikely that four additional judges will be present on Monday, because the Supreme Court has not been operational since Jammeh fired several of the court’s judges in mid-2016.
All other eligible Court of Appeal judges left the country after the December election.
Barrow, a former real estate agent who was little known before he announced his candidacy, said in a statement he is planning to take office on January 19, as scheduled.
“The right of a victor to be sworn in as president and the duty of an incumbent to leave office when one’s term ends are not invalidated filing an election petition,” the 51-year-old president-elect said.
Several West African heads of state meanwhile postponed a meeting with Jammeh aimed at helping to resolve the political crisis from Wednesday to Friday.
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the United Nations and the African Union are also expected to take part in the dialogue and call on Jammeh to respect the country’s constitution.
During an earlier meeting in December, West African leaders had failed to convince Jammeh to permit a peaceful transition of power.
Some observers fear that delays to the planned handover of power could lead to violence.
Source: Daily Trust & DPA