Gambia: Barrow says to Quit After 3 Years will be Betrayal of People

By Bakary Ceesay

President Adama Barrow

President Adama Barrow, has stressed that to resign after three-years transition agreement implies betraying people.

The Gambian leader came to power on the backing of seven political parties and three independent candidates. He promised to step down after a three-year transition and organize an election in which he will not participate.

However, he now said stepping down is no longer feasible and has since made his intentions to even contest the 2021 presidential elections.

Last month Three-year Jotna, a Pro-democracy group hold a massive peaceful demonstration demanding President Barrow to honor coalition three-years transition agreement and step down.

They petition government threaten another protest in January 2020 to hold President Barrow honor his campaign promises to the public.

However, in his new year message Gambian leader said: “While tendering my resignation is not unconstitutional, as some people argue, it is irresponsible and imprudent to do so if it is not prompted and justified by principles linked to statehood and the people. To resign after three years in office implies betraying the people, multitudes of whom continue to pledge support for my Government and our development agenda”

He pointed out that: “I have judiciously counselled myself to bow to the will of the people, and I refuse to yield to the sentiments and ambitions of a minority group. For this reason, my decision is to complete the five-year mandate stipulated in the Constitution for a sitting President. I am not ill disposed in any way to warrant my resignation as President”

“In consequence, the next Presidential Election will be held according to schedule in 2021. For this purpose, the electoral reform process is in progress to ensure that all national elections are free and fair”

He stressed that the greatest threat to the nation is disorder and instability. Lawlessness will undermine the peace and tranquility we now enjoy.

He called on all citizens should remain vigilant, the security services have to be alert and well-disposed to maintain law and order, defend our sovereignty and secure our territorial integrity.

Barrow further emphasis: “I swore twice by the Holy Qur’an, in Dakar and in The Gambia, to defend and act according to the national Constitution. Under these circumstances, I cannot accord the Coalition Agreement preference over the Constitution”

“The desire to dislodge dictatorship by all democratic means guided us in the development of the Coalition Agreement”

He explained that after  he took up office, the gravity of the institutional failures, abuse of office, human rights and bad governance became more apparent. 

“Thus, the need to weigh fulfilling the Coalition Agreement and acting on the Constitution I swore to uphold. The confidence and mandate entrusted upon me have subsequently guided my decision to respect the voice and will of the people, by maintaining to serve the full Constitutional mandate of five years,”he said

“It is in the same spirit that both the Legislative and Local Government Elections occurred. the circumstances now dictate that national development and the national interest take precedence over partisan or sectional interests,”

He urged  all citizen to resolve to become better democratic and productive citizens in the country. 

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