Brikama, GAMBIA:  Supporters of the Unity and Democracy Party (UDP) and its leader Ousainou Darboe pose at an election meeting 19 September 2006 in Brikama ahead of presidential elections to be held September 22. AFP PHOTO SEYLLOU  (Photo credit should read SEYLLOU/AFP/Getty Images)

Gambia: UDP to back presidential term limit in parliament

Gambia’s main ruling party, the UDP says it will back the country’s independent president, Adama Barrow’s two-term five-year limit for the presidency.

Barrow, 52, said no one will be allowed to entrench themselves in power after the country emerged from a decades-long dictatorship.

The UDP won a majority of the seats in last month’s parliamentary polls. It is now making its intentions to advocate for a two-term limit for the presidency, media law reforms and an absolute majority in place for a simple majority in elections known.

President Barrow resigned from the UDP to lead the unity government after he was backed by eight opposition groups to defeat former president, Yahya Jammeh in the December elections last year.

Although he is elected for a five-year mandate, he is expected to respect a gentlemanly agreement to resign in three years and hold elections. The issue is now a question of contention between pro-democracy activists and his supporters.

Barrow’s predecessor, Jammeh, came to power in a coup in 1994 tailored the country’s constitution to suit him, removing a proposed two-term limit for the presidency and shifting into a self-serving ruler.

Jammeh had to be forced out of power by regional forces after thrusting the country into a political crisis. Normalcy has returned and the country’s infant democracy is gaining strength with strong institutions taking shape.

Barrow has promised a series of constitutional reforms and has the needed support in parliament to have most of them passed without much opposition.

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