Gambian minister calls on Barrow to quit after 3 years

Banjul, Gambia (PANA) - The Gambian Minister of Agriculture, Omar Jallow, has asked President Adama Barrow to leave office after three years, saying that the president was selected by the opposition coalition to preside over a transitional government for three years.

Mr Jallow stated this in an exclusive interview with PANA here on Thursday.

Opposition parties in the country, including President Adama Barrow’s United Democratic Party (UDP) came under a united front and defeated President Yahya Jammeh in the general elections of December 2016.

They had earlier reached a deal that calls for their candidate to preside over a transitional government for three years.

Opinion has since been largely split regarding the deal, raising concerns about whether it will be respected.

Last year, President Barrow told a journalist his leaving power at the end of the three years deal will depend on Gambians.

Also, United Democratic Party leader Ousainou Darboe was quoted as saying that Mr Barrow must serve for five years as stipulated in the constitution.

But Mr Jallow, of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP), said: “For me, we campaigned for three years and we have never sat as a coalition to discuss the continuation to five years. I was on the campaign with President Barrow and we campaigned for a 3-year mandate and the people voted for that mandate.”

He added: “From where I sit, I believe in 3 years and that stands because that is what I have campaigned for.”

Mr Jallow said if the constitution was the problem, it should be amended.

“I will advise strongly that we should not extend the stay and for those talking about constitutionality, the constitution is not written in stone. There is a way out,” he said.  

Mr Jallow now becomes the second coalition partner after Halifa Sallah to advise President Barrow to honour the three-year agreement.

The PPP leader said the Barrow-led administration has made great achievements in its first year. “You can now see that the dignity of the people is protected; the economy is growing and you have seen that the energy sector is stabilizing,” he said.  

He refuted claims that the coalition is in “disarray”, saying they were still ‘very committed and focused as a government.’

“The commitment is there and even in parliament you can see the changes there. They are not blindly following party lines and I think that will continue,” Jallow said.

He argued that anyone who is promoting partisan politics among the coalition partners is betraying the Gambian people.

“It is unfortunate that we don’t learn, no government in the world can solve all the problems. If that is the case, no government would have been changed in the developed world,” he added.  -0- PANA MSS/VAO 4Jan2018

04 january 2018 13:41:18

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