THE FINE LINE OF PEACEFUL TRANSITION OF POWER

For the first time in Gambian history the country has an outgoing and an incoming government. Where the powers of the outgoing government end the powers of the incoming government start is clearly defined in section 63 subsection (2) of the Constitution.

The outgoing government should consult the Attorney General who is the principal legal adviser of the government to know when the term of the outgoing government ends to avoid overstay in power which has serious constitutional and security implications.

Hunger for power is the root cause of evils in governance. It leads to abuse of and disregard for constitutional authority. Respect for constitutional authority enables citizens who are equal in rights to transfer power in peace and tranquility.

One could see the process taking place in the US where one has an outgoing president and an incoming president. State visitors do not only see the outgoing president but also pay courtesy calls on the incoming president. The media covers events of both the outgoing and incoming presidents. Aid personnel, both civil and military continue to recognise both the outgoing and incoming presidents as they are waiting to work under the incoming president as soon as he assumes office.

This is what a republic is expected to be. Governments come and go but the sovereignty of the people remains, constitutions and institutions continue to function.

We therefore hope that the outgoing and incoming presidents would be able to commence a new political culture which allows executive power to be transferred from one president to another without upsetting the stability of a country.

The Gambia has a great opportunity to have a peaceful transfer of power. Counting of ballots was done on the spot and political parties knew the results before the IEC made the final announcement. The political leaders should be sincere to the people and have team spirit in a contest and accept to commend the victor when the truth is evident to all. That is the way forward for The Gambia if we sincerely love the people and want them to prosper forever. The future will tell.