Zambia’s election dispute was swiftly solved – because the losing President would lose office and would no longer be Commander-in-Chief while the Supreme Court considers any election dispute petition in which he is involved.
That is what the Constitution of Zambia says.
By contrast, in The Gambia’s election dispute of 2016, the losing President Yahya Jammeh remained in power, controlled the levers of State and the Army, and nearly brought about a war. Yahya Jammeh even wanted to bring in his own foreign Supreme Court judges to decide on the election outcome he disputed – imagine if he had bribed each of them with one million dollars from his one billion-dollar looting of The Gambia’s Central Bank!
CHIEF JUSTICE WILL NOT BE PART OF THE SUPREME COURT PANEL HEARING THE ELECTION PETITION!
Let us say that President Barrow and/or Lawyer Darboe lodge an election dispute petition on December 7th when the election results are announced.
On the 8th of December, the day after the Supreme Court receives the petition disputing the elections, the Chief Justice is sworn-in as Temporary President and Commander-in-Chief of The Gambia.
On the 9th of December the Supreme Court sits to begin hearing the election petition – without the Chief Justice who will have nothing to do with the proceedings.
The Supreme Court gives its ruling before Christmas – to give the Nation time to organise the Presidential inauguration on January 19th 2022 (for the Presidential Election Winner as declared by the Supreme Court).
19th January 2022: The Chief Justice formally resigns in the morning from the post of Temporary President and Commander-in-Chief and, in the afternoon, the Chief Justice inaugurates the winner of the Presidential Elections (as per the Supreme Court’s petition ruling) – either President Barrow or Lawyer Darboe.
BUT, BUT, ….
This brilliant idea needs to be incorporated into a New Constitution in The Gambia (assuming Gambians will agree on a New Constitution!). At the moment it is all just a dream!
PS: There are no such provisions in the USA or UK Constitutions, so our Harvard and Oxford educated PhDs will probably object – and consider this proposal to be not as brilliant as the author claims (after all, no brilliant PhD level idea can come from a village bush-man!)