Gambia: 2 UDP MPs At Odds with Party Stance on Barrow’s 3 Years Mandate

By Bakary Ceesay

Two United Democratic Party (UDP) National Assembly Members have strongly disagreed with the party called on President Adama Barrow to step down after three year coalition mandate, strongly reaffirmed that they are supporting Barrow’s five years Constitution mandate.

Last week UDP leadership  has called on President Adama Barrow to respect the Coalition 2016 agreement and hand-over the affairs of the country by December, however, this statement doesn’t argues well with two seating members of the UDP marking deep divisions within the UDP camp on whether President Barrow should respect the 3 or five years in office.

However, over the weekend , Hon. Saikou Marong and Hon. Fatoumata Jawara, members for Latrikunda and Tallingding Kunjang Constituencies has gone against the statement emanating from the UDP  urging President Adama Barrow to leave power by end of his three years in office.

The duo both members of the UDP said the move is not in line with the Gambian Constitution which calls for any seating President of the republic to serve for five years mandate.

 Hon. Saikou Marong National Assembly Member for Latrikunda Sabiji Constituency pointed out that: “I have made my position very clear since the very night UDP made its statement that the President should step-down after three years. I want to make my position very clear to Gambians and my position is that, am supporting the five years mandate of the president given to him by the Constitution”,

He stressed that he  is in full support of the five years mandate given to President Adama Barrow by the Constitution of the Gambia, noting that he will never change his position on this issue unless the president Barrow decides for himself whether to stay or to leave before the end of his mandate.

“I’m with President Barrow 100 percent as far as the 5 years Constitutional mandate is concern and I want to warn Gambians to be mindful against detractors and allow President Barrow to exhaust his five years mandate”, he added.

On her part, Hon. Fatoumatta Jawara of Tallinding Kunjang said this is the first time that she is coming out publicly affirm her allegiance to President Barrow, arguing that her reasons are based on the fact that, she now losing trust and confidence in the UDP and its leadership who have now sway away from their common goals of ending dictatorship in the country.

According to her, UDP has now started going against the very people who stood by the party shoulder to shoulder at the most difficult times of the party only to be mortgage by people who never contributes to its long journey of struggle against dictatorship in the country.

“Personally I have started losing hope on UDP especially when the party started vilifying the very people who led the struggle against ending dictatorship in this country. Every day you see UDP members harping insults and all sorts of names on people who sacrifice their lives for this party and the leadership keep paying blind eyes on these issues”, Hon. Jawara argued.

She added: “I want to make my position clear that am here to support the president and am with him all the way to the end of his five years mandate given to him by the constitution”.

Jawara said she has told the Truth Reconciliation and Reparation Commission (TRRC) that she will never be victimized in the Gambia anymore, adding that her participation in the struggle to end dictatorship in the country will not go in vain for no undue course.

The Tallinding NAM said she is not bothered to be vilify or label with all sort of names by members and supporters of the UDP, noting that as politicians the politics of character assassination is a mere cream applied on one’s body and as such no amount of such insults or intimidation will make her to change her support to President Barrow.

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