President Barrow not to sign bill that seeks to end VP controversy

President Barrow not to sign bill that seeks to end VP controversy

Gambia’s President Adama Barrow will not be signing a bill that was passed by the opposition-backed APRC parliament to remove the upper age limit in the West African nation’s constitution, its Attorney General said.

Attorney General Aboubacarr Tambadou, a former UN prosecutor said Tuesday he had advised the president that proper procedure was not followed in making the amendment and should, therefore “not append his signature to the bill.”

“I have now advised His Excellency The President to withhold his assent to the bill relating to the amendment of the constitutional provisions. The reason for this advice is because I am of the opinion that the procedure adopted by the National Assembly to amend these constitutional provisions was misconceived,” Mr. Tambadou said.

Gambia’s parliament last week removed a discriminatory law that bars senior citizens – anyone 65 years of age or older – from seeking the presidency and vice presidency.

Lawmakers in mainland Africa’s smallest nation say it is an important step for participatory democracy. Attorney General Tambadou took full responsibility for the error in the steps taken to amend the law.

“As Attorney General and Minister for Justice, I take full responsibility for this error. Steps are now being taken so that this will be remedied at the earliest opportunity,” Tambadou said.

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