Gambia’s President Adama Barrow has confirmed Fatoumata Tambajang as his vice president, ending an eight-month dispute over her appointment.
Tambajang was selected by Barrow for the job in January but she could not be sworn-in after it appeared that was ineligible due to a discriminatory law that prevented senior citizens from taking up the position.
“President Barrow has confirmed Fatoumata Tambajang as Vice-President. She is the second female vice-president in our nation’s history,” said Press Secretary Amie Bojang-Sisohore.
The law was amended in March but pro-democracy campaigners say the change was not in compliance with the law, forcing Mr. Barrow to rescind the decision to swear Tambajang in.
Gambia’s Parliament later in July voted to nix the law creating the pathway for Tambajang’s swearing-in. She has been the overseer of the vice presidency and had already being sworn-in as Minister of Women’s Affairs.
The Women’s Affairs job traditionally comes with the vice presidency in The Gambia, a position that has been held for the longest by Isatou Njie-Saidy in the former regime.
Tambajang was the chief mediator between the Gambia’s divided opposition parties during unity talks that have seen them united to challenge and defeat ex-President Yahya Jammeh in last year’s elections.
She is a former Gambian health minister and UN official who worked in war-torn African nations where was once held, hostage.
She was against former President Yahya Jammeh leaving the country warning against the former leader’s capability to start an insurgency.
Tambajang has supported calls for the Gambia’s return to the Commonwealth and International Criminal Court, institutions that Jammeh unilaterally withdrew the Gambia from.