Gambian President Yahya Jammeh, has given a clear indication that he would be running for a fifth term as president of the tiny West African country during presidential elections slated for December 1 this year.
According to reports from the state broadcaster, Jammeh who has been in power for a little over two decades (22 years) had his candidacy approved by his Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction party late last week.
The 50-year-old military officer came to power through a coup in 1994 and has ruled the country with an iron fist, Jammeh’s government have been criticised for human rights violations and a bad diplomatic record in the recent past.
HITS BACK AT CRITICS OVER TERM LIMITS
He sharply criticised suggestions that his tenure should be limited and pledged to continue being at the service of Gambians.
“This is a democracy and yet they speak of term limitations. Whichever western head of state or other leader wants to speak about term limitations… let them come to Gambia to talk to me,” Jammeh is quoted to have replied western leaders and rights groups.
The presidential election will take place on December 1 and will be followed by general elections on April 6, 2017.
As a result of growing concerns over human rights and governance issues, Gambia was stripped of about 22 million euros ($27 million) in budget support by the European Union in 2010.
Gambia, a former British colony; has a population of nearly two million, 90 percent Muslims. eight percent are Christian and the remaining two percent having indigenous beliefs.
Jammeh flaunts his Muslim identity as he is often seen holding a Koran and/or prayer beads, promoting an aura of mysticism, he recently declare the Gambia an ‘Islamic Republic.’