Banjul, Gambia (PANA) - The Gambia’s biggest opposition political party, United Democratic Party (UDP), Wednesday called on Gambian leader Adama Barrow to honour a coalition agreement that brought him to power in 2016.
Seven political parties and an independent candidate united and backed the candidature of Barrow to defeat President Yahya Jammeh, one of Africa’s longest serving leaders, in a popular vote on December 2,2016.
Addressing a press conference Wednesday at the party’s office in Manjai, 20km out Banjul , UDP leader Ousainou Darboe urged his former treasurer, President Barrow, to honour the 2016 Coalition agreement and step down in December.
According to him, the coalition independent candidate agreed to serve for three years as president if he won the presidential election of 2016 and resign as president after a three-year term and supervise the first elections in which he would not participate.
Asked if he and his party were supporting a grassroots movement dubbed “Operation 3 years Jotna” (meaning three has reached), Darboe reiterated his party’s call for President Barrow to step down in December.
“UDP urged all the parties to the 2016 Coalition agreement, particularly its principal beneficiary, President Adama Barrow to be faithful to the terms and conditions of the Gambian electorates that if elected he will serve for a term of three years only and step down to supervise free, fair and transparent presidential elections,” he said.
In a reaction, Saihou Mballow, President Barrow’s deputy adviser on youth matters, also issued a statement regarding the UDP press conference.
He said: "I learn with great dismay reports that the leader of the United Democratic Party, Lawyer Ousainou Darboe, has reneged on his principled position of support for the five-year constitutional mandate of President Adama Barrow."
“As far as we are concerned, President Adama Barrow was duly elected and mandated by the Gambian people to serve for a period of five years based on the 1997 Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land.
“We recognized the 2016 Coalition agreement as a legitimate friendly agreement; however, where it comes in conflict with the law, the supremacy of the law takes precedence. Therefore, we are calling on all and sundry, particularly genuine politicians, to do the right thing and stand in support of the constitution of the country,” he said.
-0- PANA MSS/06/RA 6Nov2019