Gambia’s President Adama Barrow has responded to critics who say his ‘political father,’ and UDP leader Ousainou Darboe is the defacto president making all the decisions.
The political newcomer is faced with the challenge of keep a politically divided country united after clashes in southern Gambia between supporters of the UDP and those of ousted dictator, Yahya Jammeh.
“In life, everybody has a mentor or is inspired by someone or something. As a President who came from a political party founded by people of integrity, President Barrow also has mentors and people who inspire him. However, this should not be interpreted as his decisions being dictated by anyone,” said his spokesperson, Amie Bojang-Sisohore.
Barrow prides himself on being democratic enough to defend the right to dissent in his administration. The new leader said that decision making is a process influenced by consultations with individuals, various partners, and stakeholders to make informed choices for the nation.
Barrow resigned from the UDP to lead the coalition government. He was a junior executive member, who no one has heard of until the arrest and jailing of the party’s senior leadership in April.
He calls his Foreign Affairs Minister and UDP leader, Ousainou Darboe his “political father,” and many say Barrow being a political novice takes orders from Darboe, an experienced and long time attorney.
The coalition that brought Barrow to power has fractured and fought to win a majority in the parliament, individually. The UDP won a majority and Barrow says he is happy that he has the much needed support to pass his government’s reform, economic and development agendas.