Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to contribute to the Statement made by my good Friend, the Hon Member for Effutu.
Mr Speaker, let me clearly state, even before going on to The Gambian situation that, our laws are very clear in Ghana. If you are a President or a candidate and you lose an election and the Electoral Commission declares, the person so declared will be sworn-in as it states on the 7th January, or whichever year that it is supposed to be, and the loser would go to court. That is what our law says.
Mr Speaker, our Armed Forces are very loyal and their allegiance would switch to the President who has been sworn in and so defend that person. I would want to make that clear. So, I could state clearly that the situation the Hon Member who just spoke is envisaging would be very difficult to occur in this country. That is why we would want to thank all those who have lost an election in Ghana and graciously agreed to step down -- All of them -- Including the current President.
This is because there would always be another day. He lost by less than 50, 000
votes, he agreed and the people of Ghana have brought him back. Mr Speaker, that is an example for everybody -- [Interruption] -- I am talking about Ghana. That is an example for everybody in Ghana, that losing an election is not the end of the world.
Mr Speaker, former President Yahya Jammeh of The Gambia ruled for approximately 22 years. On the 1st of December, 2016, an election was held and he lost by nine percentage points and the Electoral Commission revised the votes five days after -- on the 6th of December, 2016. He got 208,486 votes, representing 39.6 per cent and the votes for Adama Barrow reduced to 222,708 votes, representing 43.34 per cent.
There was a third party candidate called Mama Kandeh, who got 89,768 votes, representing 17.1 per cent. Mr Speaker, the Electoral Commission so declared Mr Adama Barrow the winner and he was expected to be sworn in on the 19th
of January, 2017. The President initially agreed, called the winner and congratulated him. But after sometime, he said no, he would not agree, he changed his mind and felt that there were irregularities and so, he would not give up power.
He would not allow the President-elect to be sworn in and he got Parliament to extend his term by three months after his term had expired on the midnight of 19th.
January, 2017. He declared a state of emergency. Mr Speaker, but in all these, ECOWAS had decided to use positive diplomacy to get Mr Yahya Jammeh to step down.
Our former President, His Excellency John Dramani Mahama, including other Presidents -- the Nigerian President, the
Senegalese President and the Liberian President, who is the Head of ECOWAS, were deeply involved in trying to bring peace and reconciliation to The Gambia and to speak to Mr Yahya Jammeh to agree to step down. Mr Speaker, but he would not budge.
Mr Speaker, ECOWAS then took the decision, if necessary, to apply force to get him out. [Interruption.] Ghana, as a country, is one of the most respected and highly influential countries within the ECOWAS bloc. So, ECOWAS mandated five countries to send troops to Dakar, Senegal, and if there was the need to get Mr Yahya Jammeh out, and respect the views and the Constitution of The Gambia.
Mr Speaker, they did not just go into The Gambia, they decided to do the right thing by seeking the wisdom and authority of the United Nations (UN). Mr Speaker, they waited till the night of the 19th of January before they could take action. The UN did exactly that -- Took the decision on the 19the of January, around 6.00 p.m, Ghanaian time and authorised the troops to go in if Mr Yahya Jammeh would not step down. In spite of that, ECOWAS decided to hold on for one more day to allow diplomacy to work.
Mr Speaker, I could report to this House that diplomacy worked and Mr Yahya Jammeh agreed to step down and he is gone. Mr Speaker, that is why I would want to thank Hon Colleagues and say that -- Our 205 troops are already there, and they would now act as a stabilisation force for a particular period, to allow The Gambia people and the new President to move into The Gambia and stabilise himself.
Ghana is one of the few countries that have experience in peace support operations. We have dealt with UN over