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DR CEESAY SAYS THIRD TERM BID DEPENDS ON BARROW

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By Omar Bah

Information Minister Dr Ismaila Ceesay has said President Adama Barrow has all rights to decide whether he wants to run for a third term or not and there is nothing anybody can do about that. Minister Ceesay was responding to a report published by the Institute for Security Studies (ISS), an African organisation which aims to enhance human security on the continent, which revealed that President Barrow’s candidature in the 2026 presidential election would deepen the country’s political tension.

The ISS, which is noted for its respected independent and authoritative research, providing expert policy analysis and advice, stated: “Another Barrow run would certainly deepen tensions, creating political problems that could require an Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) intervention – as happened during the December 2016 and January 2017 post-election crisis”.

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Reacting to the report on Coffee Time, Minister Ceesay said: “I don’t know what is the basis of that assumption but I think it is a very flawed one because Gambia doesn’t have political tension at the moment. So, if they say it will deepen tension, there has to be tension in the first place. For me, political tensions don’t exist in The Gambia. This country is a stable and an open political society.”

The minister added that the issue of third term is up to the president “and I can certainly tell you that the president is someone who believes in term limits and he propagates it. But as long as there is no legal basis for it in The Gambia, nobody has the right to impose it on him. The president is in fact focusing on delivering services to the people in accordance with the mandate he has in these five years.”

Minister Ceesay accused some unnamed politicians of going around trying to confuse the population telling them how it is not a norm in Africa for a president to run for a third term.

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“People have to understand that this is the president’s first term because as far as we are concerned, the initial one was a messy transition that cannot be considered to be his first term. The president got his first mandate as head of the NPP  in this term and people should understand that, and nobody can impose on him whether to contest or not. That is a decision for the president,” Minister Ceesay concluded.

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