Africa

Gambian official: President to concede defeat after 22 years

  • In this photo taken on Thursday Dec. 1, 2016, election volunteers count the votes at a polling station for presidential elections where Opposition coalition candidate Adama Barrow faced longtime President Yahya Jammeh and third party candidate Mama Kandeh, in Serrekunda, Gambia. Voters in the tiny West African nation of Gambia cast marbles Thursday in an election widely expected to keep the country's ruler of more than two decades in power despite a unified challenge from the opposition. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)

    In this photo taken on Thursday Dec. 1, 2016, election volunteers count the votes at a polling station for presidential elections where Opposition coalition candidate Adama Barrow faced longtime President Yahya Jammeh and third party candidate Mama Kandeh, in Serrekunda, Gambia. Voters in the tiny West African nation of Gambia cast marbles Thursday in an election widely expected to keep the country's ruler of more than two decades in power despite a unified challenge from the opposition. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this photo taken on Thursday Dec. 1, 2016, election volunteers seal ballot drums after counting the votes for presidential elections, where Opposition coalition candidate Adama Barrow faced longtime President Yahya Jammeh and third party candidate Mama Kandeh, in Serrekunda, Gambia. Voters in the tiny West African nation of Gambia cast marbles Thursday in an election widely expected to keep the country's ruler of more than two decades in power despite a unified challenge from the opposition. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)

    In this photo taken on Thursday Dec. 1, 2016, election volunteers seal ballot drums after counting the votes for presidential elections, where Opposition coalition candidate Adama Barrow faced longtime President Yahya Jammeh and third party candidate Mama Kandeh, in Serrekunda, Gambia. Voters in the tiny West African nation of Gambia cast marbles Thursday in an election widely expected to keep the country's ruler of more than two decades in power despite a unified challenge from the opposition. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)  (The Associated Press)

  • Gambians celebrate the victory of Opposition coalition candidate Adama Barrow in the streets of Serrekunda, Gambia, Friday Dec. 2, 2016. Gambia's opposition candidate has defeated longtime ruler Yahya Jammeh in the West African country's presidential vote, an upset victory that could lead to the first transfer of power in more than two decades, the head of the election commission announced Friday. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)

    Gambians celebrate the victory of Opposition coalition candidate Adama Barrow in the streets of Serrekunda, Gambia, Friday Dec. 2, 2016. Gambia's opposition candidate has defeated longtime ruler Yahya Jammeh in the West African country's presidential vote, an upset victory that could lead to the first transfer of power in more than two decades, the head of the election commission announced Friday. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)  (The Associated Press)

The head of Gambia's election commission says President Yahya Jammeh will accept defeat more than 22 years after he seized power in a coup.

The announcement came Friday from Alieu Momarr Njai, who said the longtime leader would give a statement later in the day.

Njai said it was "very unique" that Jammeh would accept defeat after controlling Gambia for so long.

There was no immediate comment from Jammeh, who just days ago had said his victory was all but assured by Allah. Since coming to power in 1994, Jammeh has won a series of elections that were denounced by critics as rigged.

Jammeh is accused by rights groups of ordering the deaths of his political opponents and his regime has also targeted journalists, and gays and lesbians.