Fresh talks are en route for Gambia’s President Adama Barrow to serve a full five-year term as opposed to the agreed three-year transitional period, the country’s Vice President Fatoumata Tambajang said.
“A three-year agreement has been signed but we will enter new talks so we can extend the three years to a full five year to conform with the Constitution [of The Gambia],” she said.
“When we reach an agreement, we will take a tour around the country and inform the people that the coalition partners have agreed for President Barrow to serve his full mandate.”
President Barrow was backed by seven opposition parties to defeat Gambia’s authoritarian ruler, Yahya Jammeh, who had ruled the country with an iron-fist for more than two decades.
Barrow’s tenure has been an issue of contention between the opposition and government supporters. Ousainou Darboe, the leader of the UDP, the main stakeholder in Barrow’s government said the agreement for Barrow to serve less than the constitutionally required mandate was never signed.
A senior member of the coalition and Member of Parliament Halifa Sallah refuted that the agreement was never signed but said Barrow serving a five-year term should not be an issue.
Barrow took power in the Gambia under a severe political episode that ends with the exile of then-President Jammeh to Equatorial Guinea.
Jammeh had refused to cede power and Mr. Barrow with the backing of other West African leaders authorized regional troops to flush him out of power.