Gambiana

UDP leader says Jammeh rigged 1996 presidential election to continue ruling

Ousainou Darboe, leader of the United Democratic Party (UDP)

The leader of United Democratic Party, Ousainou NM Darboe, has said that former Gambian president Yahya Jammeh rigged the 1996 presidential in order to stay in power.

Lawyer Darboe, as he is fondly known told the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission during his testimony on Monday at the Dunes Hotel in Kotu.

“We know we have won that election, we don’t believe but we knew we have won that election. They stole that election from us,” he said.

Meanwhile, he told the commission that the AFPRC turned APRC government was intimidating the members of his party in order for UDP to lose confidence and moral to achieving their political goals.

Mr Daboe, 71, said that the UDP supporters, who were ambushed at Denton Bridge, were tortured and brutalize and that he was told that Yankuba Touray was among the torturers during a campaign period ahead of the 1996 presidential election at the behest of Jammeh.

“I have no evidence but I have a claim that pregnant women were manhandled. I was the principal target of that ambush and the security adviser -Mr. Fatty- adviced me to go to Pipeline,” he said.

Further testifying, Mr Darboe said his party agents were denied presence at all the polling stations in 1996, describing the act as “unscrupulous”.

Lawyer Darboe whose testimony came as a surprise to many is the first political leader in the Gambia to testify before the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission.

The Truth Commission resumed its fifth hearings session on Monday after more a month break and mandate to probe into the human rights violations and crimes that occurred under the leadership of ex-president Yahya Jammeh.

Mr. Jammeh, who ruled the Gambia for 22-years, went into exile in Equatorial Guinea after a threat from the military forces of the regional bloc of West African States, ECOWAS.

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