Gambia’s parliament has thrown out an age restriction clause that bars senior citizens from seeking the presidency or serving as the vice president.
The law has been criticized as discriminatory. It has been the main issue surrounding the appointment of Fatoumata Tambajang as the country’s vice president.
The Gambia’s constitution capped the age for the presidency and vice presidency at age 65.
Tambajang was the chair of the committee the negotiated the unity pack between eight opposition groups that led to the ouster of longstanding ruler Yahya Jammeh.
Tambajang, 67, can now be sworn-in as vice president, putting the controversy to rest. It will, however, not take away opposition criticism that the law was adjusted to suit the former health minister.
Supporters of the coalition say it will consolidate the democracy of the country that just emerged from two decades of dictatorship.
The Gambia is mainland Africa’s smallest country and reversed the former government’s decision to pull out of the International Criminal Court. It’s former President Yahya Jammeh is in Equatorial Guinea, a non-signatory to the Rome Statute.