By Bekai Njie
Coalition 2016 will on Monday April 15 issue a communiqué to decide if President Adama Barrow should extend his presidency to 5 years or step down at the end of this year as per the coalition’s three-year agreement.
This development was made known to the media during the weekend by the chairperson of the Coalition, Fatoumatta Jallow-Tambajang at a local hotel shortly after the first meeting of its members.
“We will look into that today, we had wanted to table it as part of the agenda, it is in the agenda but we couldn’t discuss it because we don’t want to discuss anything in the absence of key leaders,’’ she said.
“Their team members came but the key leaders were not there and if you decide, it will be undemocratic even though they have sent competent representatives.”
“We would rather have them participate in the meeting so that we speak with one voice,’’ the chairperson went on. “And after the review of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), the process we are taking is to take it officially to His Excellency our flag bearer, discuss it with him and then have a common stand, disseminate it to the media and to the rest of the country.’’
The Coalition’s MOU states that the flag bearer must be an independent candidate and if elected, should step down after three years. The agreement also states that he/she must not take part in the immediate presidential elections after serving three years as president.
President Barrow is already in the third year of his presidency, and the coalition members will decide today if he should step down at the end of this year or extend his rule till 2021.
“However, it is important to note that the outcome of today’s meeting may bear little or no influence if President Barrow chose to extend his leadership.”
“This is because The 1997 Constitution of The Gambia supersedes any other law or agreement of the land. And the same Constitution mandates the president to lead for 5years.”
Among the key leaders who were not seen in the first meeting are Hamat Bah of NRP, Lawyer Ousainou Daboe of UDP, Mai Ahmad Fatty of GNCP, the new vice president and leader of Isatou Touray and Halifa Sallah of PDOIS whose party sent no representative.
According to our source, PDOIS sent no representative because the party was not formally informed of the meeting.