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Dr. Sawyer seeks safe power transfer in Africa

Former interim president and Chairman of the Governance Commission of Liberia, Dr. Amos C. Sawyer has underscored a need for effective democratic transfer of Executive powers in African countries.

According to him, African democracies are getting mature as a result of power alternatives among political parties. He said challenges of organizing transfer of executive power from government to another are very critical in ensuring that the incoming government gets off to a new beginning.

According to a press release, Dr. Sawyer spoke recently when he headed a Liberian delegation to the West African Regional Conference on democratic transfer of Executive power in Praia, Cape Verde.

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The conference was sponsored by the Government of Cape Verde and the National Democratic Institute or NDI, bringing together seven African countries, including Cape Verde, Liberia, Ghana, Senegal, Nigeria, Central African Republic, and Burkina Faso.

The Governance Commission boss maintained that if the African continent should ensure safe transfer of Executive power, it must first ensure smooth transfer of power, enact appropriate laws, procedures in making sure the outgoing government and the incoming government’s executives and staff are able to work out a timely, organized and transparent handover of executive authority.

For his part, the regional director for West and Central Africa of the National Democratic Institute said in order for these procedures to become a reality, African countries should deepen discussion on transfer of executive power thru democratic elections.

Mr. Christopher Fomunyoh defended this idea in Praia in the first two days of the conference aimed at sharing best practices and developing regional standards on the subject. He said progress has been made in the field of democracy, but transition process has brought “some problems”, that is, even in countries where the results of the ballot are democratic and accepted by all, “There are always difficulties” in the passage of power, since there is no appropriate legal framework for managing the transitional period.

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According to him, in the absence of a legal framework and regulation already developed or existence of precedents established in the democratic transition to a new administration, even one that is of the same party of the previous it is possible that there is “lack of capacity” and knowledge necessary to govern effectively.

“The recommendations will come out of this Conference will serve as inspiration for a more in-depth debate in different countries who are interested in this issue, namely, the leaders can inspire in these recommendations to see how adopt the procedures appropriate for the context of their country”, he said. Press release

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