Gambia’s president-elect says Jammeh can’t demand new vote

DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — Gambia’s president-elect says the outgoing leader who now rejects his defeat has no constitutional authority to invalidate voting results or call for another election.

Adama Barrow is calling on President Yahya Jammeh to facilitate a smooth transition in the interest of the tiny West African country.

Jammeh made a surprise reversal late Friday, a week after conceding to Barrow.

The about-face is certain to spark outrage among the tens of thousands who took to the streets after Barrow was announced the president-elect in the Dec. 1 vote, shouting “Freedom!”

The African Union on Saturday called for security forces to remain neutral. Soldiers are in the streets of the capital, Banjul, amid the confusion.

Barrow says the Independent Electoral Commission is the only competent authority to declare a winner.