President Yahya Jammeh shocked the nation of Gambia when he announced that he would not relinquish his 22-year presidency, just a week after he conceded to rival, Adama Barrow.

He addressed his country on state television, citing voting irregularities he called unacceptable as a reason for his rejection of the election results.

“I hereby reject the results in totality,” he said late Friday. “Let me repeat: I will not accept the results based on what has happened.”

It was one week before his speech on Friday that he was filmed making a phone call to the opposition candidate, congratulating Barrow and wishing him luck on his presidency. Viewers claim that Jemmeh seemed to be in good spirits during the broadcast.

“You are the elected president of The Gambia, and I wish you all the best,” Jammeh told Barrow at the time. “I have no ill will.”

“We are deeply concerned by reports of belated objections to the Gambian election results raised by President Jammeh,” said Babatunde Olugboji, deputy program director at Human Rights Watch. “The international community, notably (regional bloc) ECOWAS and the African Union, should loudly protest any unlawful attempt to subvert the will of the Gambian people.”

The US government has stated that they do not condone Jammeh’s actions, which the government calls an attempt to hold office illegitimately.

“The people have spoken and it is time for Gambians to come together to ensure a peaceful transition to President-elect Barrow,” said State Department spokesman Mark Toner.

Whether or not the country’s 1.9 million people will accept Jammeh’s continued presidency are unknown at this time.

Upon news of Barrow’s election, Gambians gathered in the streets chanting “Freedom!”

Jammeh’s presidency has become notorious for inconsistent leadership and a disregard for human rights.

Jammeh has been accused by human rights groups of imprisoning, torturing and killing his detractors. The same groups say that he has also spoken out against sexual  minorities, and has claimed that he will slit the throats of gay men.

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