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Sunday, September 27, 2020

Darboe sidesteps opposition coalition talks but…

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Mr Darboe who was disclosing the feeling in his camp ahead of the 2016 general election also criticised a section of the constitution which pegs the presidential age limit at 65. 

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Speaking exclusively to The Standard, Darboe who is disqualified to contest stated: “It has always been our view that this age limit in the constitution is to neutralise certain people from participating in politics in the country, particularly Assan Musa Camara who was unblemished and has never appeared before any commission and possibly, people like Sheriff Mustapha Dibba also. But then the constitutional clause is catching up with anybody who is 65 and if President Jammeh were to reach 65 tomorrow, you will hear people asking for a change of this provision just as Kabila is doing in Democratic Republic of Congo.”

He added: “I cannot challenge the clause of the constitution that stipulates age limit because it is a constitutional provision and was voted in the 1997 referendum. You cannot challenge the constitution at the constitutional court. The clause may be immoral and there may not be any justification for it but you cannot challenge its constitutionality. However, it lacks any moral or scientific justification because you have eighty-year presidents in certain places.”

 

Avoids coalition talks

Meanwhile, Darboe while sidestepping the question on a possible opposition coalition come 2016, said it is not an issue yet. 

He added: “I hope we are contacted by any party to form an alliance. I hope there is early coalition. I cannot make any statement on my party’s stance on the possibility of any coalition unless any meaningful talk starts. It is only then that we will make known our position. But we will not make our position known on a hypothetical situation. Let the meetings be called and the proposals be made before we can say anything. We will not take a stance on an issue that for now is a non issue. I have always believed in a coalition. The state of the Gambia United for Change is as it was when it was formed sometime ago. However, I cannot make any statement on the state of the GUC on forming any alliance with other parties because I will be speaking for other parties. GUC is a grouping of political parties and a leader of one party cannot make a statement on an issue that affects all of them.”

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