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Saturday, October 23, 2021

GAP says Cabinet wanted to make Barrow a dictator

By Omar Bah

The leader of the Gambia Action Party has accused the cabinet of attempting to give President Barrow powers of a dictator in their position paper submitted to the Constitutional Review Commission.
Barrow’s Cabinet in its position on the draft constitution had called on the CRC to empower the president with a clause in the draft that will make it possible to dissolve the National Assembly of The Gambia.

“It is disappointing to see this government trying to take us back to dark days. Yes, we know anything that advances the power and control of the President will be supported by the Cabinet. But where does the interest of those they seek to control or have power over, factor in their calculations,” Musa Batchilly told The Standard.

He said the success of any government relies highly on checks and balances among the arms of government, the executive,the legislature and the judiciary.
“The cabinet calling on the CRC to vest powers on the president to dissolve the parliament will only take us back to dictatorship. The system we unanimously fought must not resurface. GAP strongly condemns this undemocratic and controversial attempt – it is unacceptable in our new-found democracy,” he said.

He added: “In our opinion, the cabinet ministers should have focused more on how to empower our institutions. So that we would be able to end corruption and impunity in this country and not seeking powers for an individual. Giving the president the powers to dissolve the parliament is absolutely ridiculous.”

“I urge the cabinet to focus on fighting corruption and financial mismanagement in their various ministries because giving one person all the powers in the world will not take this country anywhere. The cabinet should be reminded that the attempt they made is a threat to our democracy. They must apologise for betraying our trust. This is not the kind of Gambia we want. The truth is that President Barrow does not really care about the poor Gambians and those who fought to give him the chance to become president today. Since he became president, the only thing he is after is how to retain his position,” he added.

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