Change in the air for African politics
2016-12-15 12:51:03 -
In early December, Ghanaians voted out President John Dramani Mahama, who became leader following the death of John Atta Mills in 2012, and who failed to live up to his promises throughout a four-year tenure characterised by dwindling economic fortunes and rising corruption. His upcoming replacement by 72-year-old Nana Akufo-Addo, a human rights lawyer who won 53.8 per cent of the votes, is being viewed as part of a movement in the continent.

Nowhere is this change in the nature of African politics more glaring than in the decision of the people of The Gambia to reject President Yahya Jammeh, who has ruled with an iron hand since a 1994 coup. However, while defeated in an election won by a coalition of opposition parties led by Adama Barrow, Jammeh has himself rejected the results after inititally accepting his defeat.

There are fears that the country may be heading into chaos. At press time, The Gambia’s security forces have taken over the electoral commission headquarters, ordering its chairman home. Jammeh and his Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction party have also appealed the result to the Supreme Court. Observers believe that judges would be sympathetic to him, and this has raised speculations that he could hang on to power despite the shock defeat at the polls.

Earlier attempts by four west African leaders - Mahama in Ghana, Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari, Sierra Leone’s Ernest Bai Koroma and Liberia’s President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf – all of who travelled to The Gambia to persuade President Jammeh to accept the results, were said to be unsuccessful. We wait with bated breath to see what happens next.

TAGS : Ireland Editorial Ghana elections Votes Nana Akufo-Addo
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