Triumph of Democracy in The Gambia? - Politics | PoFo

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Chege Mbitiru wrote:One of the malaise to afflict most African leaders since the dawn of colonialism’s end about half a century ago is failure to grasp a combination of two truisms.

These are Biblical “They shall have eyes and not see; ears and not hear…” and, as American Kenny Rogers sang, “You got to know when to fold ‘em; know when to walk away; know when to run,” in a different context, but valid in politics.

The Gambia President Yahya Jammeh finally got it right and bowed.

Hopefully this holds in the 60 days the constitution allows him to govern, or as some would say, misgovern.

Following a resounding defeat in Thursday’s presidential elections after 22 years on the seat, Jammeh congratulated the winner, property developer Adama Barrow, for a “clear victory”.

He said the elections were “transparent” and “rig-proof,” admission the previous ones he won were neither.

The Gambia’s Independent Electoral Commission announced Mr Barrow got 45 per cent of the vote; Mr Jammeh 36.

The country has about 880,000 eligible voters. The turnout was 65 per cent. Jubilation was abundant.

The concession is a monumental come down for a man who had titled himself “His Excellency Sheik Professor Dr Yahya Abdul-Aziz Awal Jamus Junkung Jammeh Naasiru Deen Babili Mansa", an embellishment of not so short name at birth.

He even claimed healing powers and was filmed displaying voodoo medical practice on presumably an Aids patient.

With hindsight, Mr Jammeh can claim a cover.

Five years ago, he told the BBC: “I will deliver to the Gambian people and if I have to rule this country for a billion years, I will, if Allah says so.”

This time it was, the Voice of America quoted him, “Allah is telling me my time is up”.


He can afford the claim. Allah will never show up to confirm or deny saying or willing anything.

The Gambia shouldn’t be difficult to govern. It isn’t even difficult to militarily take over.

That’s how come at 29, Jammeh and a group of young officers easily in 1994 ousted then president, Sir Dawda Jawara.

The country’s land mass is 10,000 square kilometres; the river it’s named after, 1,295 square kms.

The coastline is 80 kilometres — a two day walking distance — but its pristine beaches draw thousands of tourists, their money augmenting potentially useful natural resources: fish, clay, silica sand, titanium, tin and zircon.

Managed well, all this would do great for Gambians, 2016 population estimated at slightly over two million.

Unfortunately, Jammeh has spent his rule presiding over alleged all manner of abuses a head of state is capable of.

Even if only five per cent of the allegations are true, it’s a wonder the International Criminal Court hasn’t paid him a visit.

At 51, he has promised to go to his farm.

Hopefully Allah will give him a cause — other than to scheme a comeback — to redeem himself and Gambia shall never again have the likes of him in any capacity of leadership.

A surprise from Yahya Jammeh as he concedes

Gambia: President Elect Barrow Says Jammeh Is Free To Stay In The Gambia Peacefully As A Private Citizen; As Barrow Declares “No Witch Hunting” Under His Administration

It's a surprise that a dictator would concede electoral defeat and enabled a peaceful transfer of power. If the country goes on to prosper, he should be remembered in its history for this repentant act.

Of course, it's highly possible that he struck a deal with the new guy that he would not be persecuted. But still.
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Yahia is not handing over power.
He had second thoughts :)
He does not want to be dragged to The Hague or rot away in a Gambian prison.
Who can blame him ?

There used to be a gentleman's agreement to let fallen dictators live out their lives in comfort in a chateau in France, like Baby Doc from Haiti, or in Saudi Arabia like Idi Amin Dada.

No longer. The people in Gambia will therefore have to endure a couple more years of brutal dictatorship.
Lexington wrote:We have to see what Senegal, ECOWAS, the AU, and the Gambian military do to respond to this change of heart. It won't be taken lightly by anyone.

As the democratic process has been done properly, if the situation does go desperate, some should consider the necessity of assassinating the outlawed power-grabbing monster to preserve the correctness.
Lexington wrote:We have to see what Senegal, ECOWAS, the AU, and the Gambian military do to respond to this change of heart. It won't be taken lightly by anyone.

If the Gambian military continues to stand behind Yahia, and I believe they will, then nobody will interfere.
Yahia was already viewed as a bloody dictator since years, so he does not care what others think of him.

I hope I am wrong, let's see.
Apparently, he wants another election and to overturn the will of the people. He must have a taken a leaf out of the book from the remoaners after Brexit. :lol: :roll:
Gambia's army chief Ousman Badjie has seemingly reversed a pledge of support for Mr Barrow, the AFP agency reported, arriving at talks wearing a badge featuring Mr Jammeh's face on his uniform.

Enough said.
It is rare for that kind of dictator to be removed by the ballot.


edited to add : by the way there is a similar situation occurring in Gabon. The Bongo dynasty franchise, in power since fifty years, has fiddled with the elections to keep Ali Bongo in power as President. The EU election Observation Mission has judged the elections as non-transparent and the election result in doubt. Ali Bongo is still sitting in the presidential palace, protected by the Gabonese (and French) army.
So what exactly has the "certain race" to do with a Gambian dictator's butt glue?

And why "The Gambia" in the title? :?:
Frollein wrote: And why "The Gambia" in the title? :?:

That is how the country is often called:
The Gambia (Listeni/ˈɡæmbiə/), also referred to simply as Gambia; officially the Islamic Republic of The Gambia,[3][4][5] is a country in West Africa mostly surrounded by Senegal with a short strip of its coastline bordered on the Atlantic Ocean at its western end. It is the smallest country in mainland Africa.[6]

I should go Gambia and retrieve all my mail that was erroneously sent there when I lived in Zambia lol.

Also lots of my mail went to Daccar instead of Dhaka.

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