Gambian parliament extends president’s term despite loss

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Gambia's President Yahya Jammeh attends a meeting of the Economic Community of West African States in Senegal's capital Dakar on April 2, 2012. Photo by Joe Penney/Reuters

Gambia’s President Yahya Jammeh attends a meeting of the Economic Community of West African States in Senegal’s capital Dakar on April 2, 2012. Photo by Joe Penney/Reuters

The Gambian National Assembly voted Wednesday to keep President Yahya Jammeh in power for three more months, one day before the scheduled inauguration of his successor Adama Barrow.

Barrow won the presidency in a December vote, but Jammeh called the elections flawed and refused to accept the results. He has been in power for 22 years.

Barrow, a former real estate agent, is currently staying in neighboring Senegal. Thousands of Gambians have fled there as well. The African Union said it would no longer recognize Jammeh’s authority after the end of his current term.

File photo of Gambian President-elect Adama Barrow by Afolabi Sotunde/Reuters

File photo of Gambian President-elect Adama Barrow by Afolabi Sotunde/Reuters

“Everybody’s leaving,” a Gambian immigration official said, The Guardian reported. “They’re worried there might be war.”

Barrow declared a 90-day state of emergency on Tuesday. He and his supporters in the National Assembly decried the “unlawful and malicious interference” of the African Union and neighboring Senegal.

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