The leader of Gambia’s socialist PDOIS party, Halifa Sallah, has advised President Adama Barrow to honor the 3-year agreement he has penned with coalition partners and resign after its completion.
Sallah, a veteran Gambian opposition who is currently a National Assembly member representing Serrekunda, said Barrow’s honoring of their agreement will set a good democratic precedent in the country.
“It was our conviction that if President Barrow leads the example of limiting his own term then no other leader will ever emerge again that will go beyond two terms,” he told a press conference at his party bureau on Wednesday afternoon.
“So that bright example is what PDOIS has always focused on throughout the campaign to emphasize to the Gambian people that we were destined to build a principled political program base on the foundation of building one Gambia, one nation, and one people.”
New Gambian president who has dethroned Dictator Yahya Jammeh has come to power on the backing of 8 political parties on an agreement that he will rule for only 3 years and resign for fresh elections.
Barrow admitted several times during the campaign that he will honor the agreement but since his victory, he has softened his position and sometimes say he will resign based on the views of his coalition members.
His UDP party holds the majority in the country’s National Assembly and could reject the amendment to the constitution that will compel him to honor the coalition if they fill he should continue.
Sallah said the objective of the Coalition in the National Assembly is to reform the Constitution and to reduce the powers of the executive, a plan “Barrow has agreed to”.
He said Barrow’s resignation will require Constitutional amendment where it will be introduced in the 1997 Constitution a provision that will assert that upon resignation or vacation of the seat of the Presidency for any cause the Vice President will act for 90 days thereafter the presidential election shall be held.
“That provision is not in the Constitution. Therefore, as its stands, he has a 5-year term. But if it is put in the constitution and adhered to, then he would be able to resign after 3 years and a presidential election would be held,” he said.
He said they have also agreed that there will be security of tenure to the chairmanship of the Independent Electoral Commission.
“There are key legislative packages and also key issues on how to ensure greater participation of women at the level of the cabinet, in the National Assembly and in the Councils. That debate is unfolding between the inter-party committee and the political parties and the government,” he added.