Does APRC support a smooth transition or a chaotic one?

Ghana is going through a smooth transition of power. The incumbent lost the election and is willing to hand over in a month following the declaration of results. Its outgoing president is moving freely in the world and did come to represent ECOWAS to negotiate peace in the Gambia. This is indeed an irony.

The Gambian presidential election took place on the 1 December 2016, while Ghana’s election took place later than the one held in the Gambia. A peaceful transfer of power is in the making in Ghana, while uncertainty prevails in the Gambia.

It is therefore necessary for the Gambia to learn from the Ghanaian experience. The members of the National Assembly and civil society at large should counsel the incumbent to hand over executive power in a peaceful way when his term expires in January 2017. This is what will facilitate a smooth transfer of executive authority and thus preserve existing institutions whilst creating new ones.

A chaotic situation leads to the destruction of institutions and loss of jobs by military and civil personnel as well as the complete redrawing of the political architecture of a country.

This leads to throwing back a society behind its point of departure. This does not lead to progress but to retrogression.

Gambians now have the luxury of choosing the best way forward. The situation is still calm. Institutions are still intact. Negotiation is still possible.