Gambia’s Supreme Court postpones hearing in Jammeh’s petition

Gambia’s Supreme Court on Tuesday postponed hearing in a petition filed by outgoing President Yahya Jammeh to challenge the results of the Dec. 1 presidential election which he lost to Adama Barrow.

The court’s registrar said “the case has been adjourned until Jan. 16, since only one of the required minimum of five judges is present.’’

Mr. Barrow, a former real estate agent who was little known before he announced his candidacy, was scheduled to take office on January 19.

The postponement of the case came one day after the Communications Minister, Sheriff Bojang, stepped down and fled the West African nation.

Mr. Bojang said he resigned because Mr. Jammeh’s refusal to accept the outcome of the presidential election was disregarding the will of the people.

On Monday, several West African heads of state resolved to intervene in Gambia’s political crisis after meeting in the Nigerian capital of Abuja.

They were expected to arrive in Gambia to meet with Mr. Jammeh, who ruled the country for more than two decades on Wednesday.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the UN and the African Union are also expected to take part in the dialogue and call on Mr. Jammeh to respect the country’s constitution.

During an earlier meeting in December, West African heads of state failed to convince Mr. Jammeh to permit peaceful transition of power.

Some observers fear that delays to the planned handover of power can lead to violence.

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