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Gambia is on edge over an autocratic leader's rejection of his democratic loss. President Yahya Jammeh was bested by challenger Adama Barrow in a national vote earlier this month. After initially conceding, Jammeh has since reversed course, now claiming the poll was tainted and demanding a new one altogether. Barrow is calling for a peaceful transition and African leaders have urged Jammeh to hand over power. But Jammeh is digging in, deploying soldiers to the electoral commission headquarters and contesting the result in court.
The crisis threatens the pro-democracy sentiment that drove Jammeh's defeat and inspired hope around the world. Jammeh has headed what's widely seen as a repressive regime since taking power in a 1994 coup. Political opponents have been jailed, tortured, or disappeared and tens of thousands of Gambians have gone into exile. This year saw the country's largest mass protests in decades. Young Gambians voting for the first time were said to play a decisive role in Barrow's victory.
On this episode of The Stream, we'll delve into the political impasse engulfing continental Africa's smallest nation.
On this episode of The Stream, we speak with:
Dr. Denis Foretia @DenisForetia
Co-Chair, Denis & Lenora Foretia Foundation
Sheriff Bojang, Jr. @Sheriffb
Journalist, West Africa Democracy Radio
Gambian Deputy Ambassador to the UN
Fatou Camara @Fatushow
Founder, The Fatu Network
Former Press Secretary, President Jammeh
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