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Gambia’s electoral commission chief has fled the country

By on January 4, 2017

The Gambia’s Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) chief has gone into hiding, his family has confirmed.

The head of Gambia’s electoral commission has fled to Senegal due to threats to his safety after declaring that President Yahya Jammeh lost last month’s election, a defeat the ruler has refused to accept.

Alieu Momar Njai left the country on Friday, family members said on Tuesday.

President Jammeh initially accepted defeat, but then changed his mind and is now refusing to step down.

Three private radio stations have been taken off air in the country since Sunday, in the first sign of a media crackdown since the president’s election defeat.

Jammeh’s decision to stay in power has been condemned internationally and started a countdown to potential crunch on Jan. 19, the day Barrow is due to be inaugurated.

West African forces from the ECOWAS regional bloc say they will attend the swearing-in. They have also put their forces on alert, raising the possibility of military intervention. Jammeh called that decision a “declaration of war”.

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