Gambia’s Minister of Agriculture and leader of the former ruling PPP party asserted that the unsigned Memorandum of Understanding that united opposition parties to defeat Yahya Jammeh was irrelevant.
Omar Jallow rejoined that the most important part of their talks has been achieved, which was to rid the country of Jammeh and not how long the coalition remains in power.
“What is important is the agreement which has been signed by all parties. The MOU was just a way of getting about what we agreed on,” Jallow told The Standard.
“Since what we have agreed has been achieved, which is to come together and defeat Jammeh, what then is the use of this debate on whether the MOU was signed or not?”
Gambians were taken aback when Minister of Foreign Affairs and leader of the UDP party revealed that the MOU was never signed, as critics of Barrow double down on their call for the soft-spoken leader to step aside in three years.
President Barrow was the UDP’s presidential candidate and won the opposition primary to lead the unity government. What turned out now be a “gentleman’s agreement” would see Barrow serving less than his five-year mandate.
Mr. Jallow is one of the two coalition leaders not in tandem with the UDP’s position for parties in the unity government to seek legislative seats through a tactical alliance.
Deep fractures in the coalition emerged. Jallow accused Darboe of splitting the coalition and parties campaigned on their own. The UDP won an absolute majority.
Darboe for the first time last week piffled allegations that his jailing led to the success of the unity talks and accused those seeking Barrow’s ouster in three years of being power hungry.
Banjul observers have noted that if there is anything the current debate about the agreement that brought the Gambia’s unity government to power, it’s that politicians, for the most part, were positioning themselves, making the signing of the MOU anything but primary.