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Sunday, October 1, 2023

Letters:The three-year transition agreement: A case of genuine ignorance?



Dear editor,

It’s a known fact that the three (3) year transition agreement was entered into by the Coalition stakeholders against the stipulation of our sacred Constitution. The wisdom underpinning such agreement was to use this period to implement drastic and comprehensive institutional reforms ahead of an-all participating free, fair and credible elections.
Looking at it, one could deduce that the covenant was not borne out of willful disregard for the supremacy of our constitutional instrument because those behind it are some of the most ardent believers of the constitutional rule. If anything, the hasty arrangement failed to recognize the extent of the rot/decay of the system, complexity of the reform process, resistance of our people to change and the length of time needed to make reasonable achievements.
Given the fact that most – if not all – of the Coalition architects had either never worked or had a very short stint in government in the past 22 years underscores their lack of operational depth or knowledge of the reform variables. Therefore, in reaching that decision, they were guided by faith and wisdom primarily and very little driven by deeper understanding of issues and practical solutions.
It is thus incumbent upon the Coalition members to have a round table discussion at the end of the three years, assess/evaluate their agreement in relation to reform programs and make a decision in good faith for the interest of our country.
My hope is that President Barrow will use this occasion to make compelling case for his reform agenda and ask for the extension to complete his five year term in office. After all, if President Barrow was humble enough to sign an agreement with his peers as their candidate, he should be honorable enough to go back to them and ask for more time as their President.
Those of us on the periphery should be able to exert pressure on our politicians to meet and have a dialogue and chart a way forward. Organizing street protests at the behest of people who opposed the regime change in the first place in order to force President Barrow to step down might be ill-advised, unconstitutional and counterproductive. Apart from jeopardizing the security situation and order of the country, it could potentially render the country ungovernable, derail or undo some of the little gains (however disappointing it is) we have made since the end of the brutal 22 year regime. Let us not allow ourselves to be used as proxy for any political party especially the sour loser APRC.

Zakaria Kemo Konteh

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