By Alagi Yorro
2017 has been a year full of global electoral drama; Brexit where Great Britain exited the European Union; the secession of Catalonia from Spain; Donald Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton through electoral votes even if she got the popular votes.
The political impasse in the Gambia, president Yahya Jammeh refused to hand over power and the international community unanimously decided that the results of the 1 December polls were “indisputable” and that President- elect Adama Barrow “must be installed as soon as possible”.
In the Gambia President Jammeh initially accepted the results of the 1 December election, whose outcome was seen across Africa as a moment of hope. He is accused by human rights groups of the detention, torture and killing of perceived opponents during his 22-year rule.
On 9 December, he reversed his position and said he would challenge in the country’s supreme court the results of an election he said was riddled with irregularities.
Yahya Jammeh said he would not step down and condemned efforts by west African regional leaders to get him to hand over power after he lost an election to challenger Adama Barrow.
“I am not a coward. My right cannot be intimidated and violated. This is my position. Nobody can deprive me of that victory except the Almighty Allah,” Jammeh said.
“Already the Ecowas [economic community of west African states] meeting was a formality. Before they came, they had already said Jammeh must step down. I will not step down,” he said.
French president François Hollande said the results of the 1 December polls were “indisputable” and that President- elect Adama Barrow “must be installed as soon as possible”.
“The matter is non-negotiable,” Hollande said after a meeting in Paris with Senegalese president Macky Sall, whose country nearly surrounds the Gambia.
In Kenya, the entire world witnessed ever the invalidation of re-election of an incumbent President. On that basis and standard, Chief Justice David Maraga has set a jurisprudential standard for Africa and the entire world.
In Zimbabwe the Military intervention for Robert Mugabe’s resignation: the end of an era in Zimbabwe and the Liberian run-off between football legend George Weah and Liberia’s Vice President Joseph Boakai.
The world witnessed Africa re-define electoral politics for the twenty-first century. For better or for worse. (So, no I am not saying they are doing this perfectly, but they are catalyzing important conversations as to the responsibilities of those who hold the top positions in these institutions.
They have raised citizen levels of expectations about what it means to be a public servant holding these positions. They are taking seriously that those privileged to serve in these positions must be accountable to the people. And they are so less forgiving of those who do not live up the promises they made when they applied to serve them by election or appointment, insisting they must uphold the oaths they have sworn and the constitutions that they promised to abide by.
Regional bloc, Ecowas said Jammeh must step down when his term runs out and vowed “to take all necessary action to enforce the results” of the poll.
The Kenyan Judiciary-no Court in the entire world has ever invalidated the re-election of an incumbent President. On that basis and standard, Chief Justice David Maraga has set a jurisprudential standard for Africa and the entire world. The Supreme Court of Kenya by their ruling in the NASA Vs. IEBC/Uhuru Petition, has set such a high jurisprudential standard that the whole world, especially Africa, has to play catch up.
The Justice Maraga ruling has proved that African Judicial systems do not have to fear the power of incumbent dictatorships to intimidate courts of law to make judgements favorable to corrupt and impunitous presidents who (mis)use public resources and state instruments of terror to subvert the Sovereign Authority of the people.
In the fullness of time the whole world, and African Judicial systems in particular, will forever be grateful to Kenya’s Supreme Court and CJ Maraga for having the courage to challenge the powers of incumbency and corrupt dictatorships.
By SCOK’s courageous ruling will forever be a standard that the world will emulate, and students of law will study for ages to come.
Thank you CJ Maraga for choosing to uphold the rule of law and constitutionalism. God will forever bless you for teaching the world that it’s possible to stand for justice against the lords of impunity and corruption.
UGANDAN Legislature: Twenty- five Members of Ugandan Parliament who rejected a motion on removal of age limits in Uganda have been suspended from parliament and forcefully evicted by stick-wielding military men backing President Yoweri Museveni. The Parliament degenerated into chaos when opposition members declined to take their seats, resulting into fist fights between MPs. They were claimed that a colleague had accessed the chambers with a gun putting the safety of other legislators at risk.
Parliament has allowed the presentation of a motion for the amendment of Article 102 (b) the constitution that pave way for the removal of the presidential age limit currently capped at 75 years after a bitter fight by parliamentarian. Parliament also accepted three of the seven notices for motions issued by private members motions include, the constitutional amendment to scrap the presidential age limit, a motion providing for transition and one seeking for a Constitutional Review Commission.
Finally, parliament rejected the motion for a bill titled the Museveni Succession, Transition and Immunities 2017? which, according to them, was to provide a soft landing for President Yoweri Museveni upon retirement and another by Manjiya county Member of Parliament John Baptist Nambetsye proposing that MP’s appointed to cabinet must resign their parliamentary seats.
In Zimbabwe the Military intervention for Robert Mugabe’s resignation: the end of an era in Zimbabwe: Robert Mugabe’s removal from power on was greeted as his ascension to it 37 years earlier had been: with jubilation. In Harare there was dancing and singing, honks and cheers, and tears of joy.
Many of those celebrating has known no other ruler. Once he was a liberation hero to his people. When he lost their support, he hung on by every means at his disposal. Now his brutal reign is over. But the hope is shaded this time by deep concern about what lies ahead.
Forcing his resignation was hardly simple: it took much maneuvering, a military intervention and the opening of impeachment proceedings before he had to bow to the inevitable. What comes next is murkier still, though Emmerson Mnangagwa, his recently fired vice-president, is expected to take over.
There is not much exultation on that score, except among “the Crocodile’s” relieved allies. They had attempted to brand a transition effected primarily by the military and factional interests in Zanu-PF, intent on preserving their own power and resources, as “a new era” – to understandable scorn.
Mr Mnangagwa understands that he is not a popular figure in the country, even if the military seem to like him. He does not share Mr Mugabe’s liberation aura, yet is branded by their terrible record in power. His role in removing Mr Mugabe may lend him a degree of credibility, but his best hopes will rest on reviving the economy – and, perhaps, on deferring next summer’s elections for as much as three years.