All Africa Must Stand With Gambia's Voters And Reject Jammeh's Erratic Reversal

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President-elect Akuffo-Addo; Bravo Ghana

[Editorial Comment]

There is celebration and concern for democracy in Africa.

In Ghana after this Wednesday's presidential election by Thursday the incumbent President John Mahama had conceded defeat to challenger Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo-Addo in a gracious and patriotic speech.

Mahama and all Ghanaians deserve strong praise for such exemplary conduct.

In Gambia last week's celebration, when dictator of 22 years Yayah Jammeh conceded defeat and promised to help President-elect Adama Barrow, has given way to uncertainty.

Yesterday the erratic ruler, who has made many statements that were beyond lunacy in the past, reversed his position. He now claims an "investigation" has revealed election irregularities and that he's rejecting the results.

Fortunately Senegal which completely surrounds Gambia and has a military of 20,000-plus compared to Gambia's 2,500 in a foreign ministry statement has rejected Jammeh's statement, demanded a peaceful transition, and holds Jammeh accountable for Barrow's safety.

Senegal, which is a non-permanent member of the Security Council of the United Nations has also called for an emergency meeting of the body.

Jammeh's illegal attempt to reverse the will of the Gambian people must be rejected by other West African countries including powerful Nigeria which has Africa's largest economy and a military 130,000 strong.

Both Senegal and Nigeria have presidents who came into office by defeating incumbent presidents.

There are already several holdouts who have lost elections this year and refused to step down including Yoweri Museveni in Uganda, Sassou Nguesso in Congo (Brazzaville) and Ali Bongo in Gabon. In those countries citizens are struggling to install the rightful winners into office.

Jammeh must not be allowed to expand this list of usurpers.

Barrow won the December 2 election by 46% to 37%.

The condemnations of Jammeh's irresponsible, reckless and dangerous actions have been swift and firm by Africans of all walks of life throughout the continent.

The United States has also sent Jammeh a strong message that he must allow a smooth transition as originally planned for January, 2017.

All of Africa must celebrate the victory for democracy and stability as reflected by Ghana's orderly process.

At the same time the entire continent must stand with the voters in Gambia and demand a smooth transfer of power to President-elect Barrow.

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