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Barrow’s ex-minister tells him to step down after current term

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By Omar Bah

Former Information Minister and veteran journalist Demba Ali Jawo has advised President Adama Barrow to honourably leave office at the end of his current term to protect his legacy.

Speaking in a Foroyaa Radio Yewuleen Programme airing every Monday, Jawo said: “My advice to President Barrow is that he should leave after his current term. As far as I am concerned, two terms is enough and if I were him, I would leave immediately after my second term ends”. But according to Mr Jawo he has not yet seen any signs that Barrow wants to leave anytime soon. “I think he is enjoying the presidency because we all know the agreement he had with the coalition partners was that he should step down after three years but he reneged on that promise and continued to complete his five years and then sought another term. So, the way I see things is that he wants to stay for many years. But if he would listen to me, he should quit after his current term ends because anything can happen. He can be voted out in the next election because the trend is there,” Jawo said.

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He added that Mr Barrow’s attempt to stay in power was part of the reasons the government convinced some National Assembly members to reject the draft constitution because it has a retroactive clause which says the president can only serve for two terms and that his first term would be counted as his first term.

“Barrow and his supporters didn’t like that and because of that they rejected the draft constitution,” Jawo said. He added that with the 1997 constitution President Barrow can rule forever if the Gambian people continue to give him their mandate.

“So, we should try and have a new constitution to be able to have third republic. There has been changes in terms of leadership but we don’t have a third republic because a third republic should go with a new constitution and I think this government should take that seriously because that will give them a clear picture on how to govern in a democratic environment. It is a shame that we are still using the Jammeh era laws. I am sure if we address all these things the future of this country is bright,” Jawo lamented.

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