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Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Letters to the Editor

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Ousainu Darboe; you’re not a constitutional lawyer Dear editor, A video, from December 2018, circulating on social media, shows VP Ousainu Darboe making a case for a five year term for the Coalition government. In a parallel video clip, President Barrow is also shown explicitly implying that the five year constitutional mandate applies to him. In truth, and in both cases, Darboe and Barrow are willfully skirting the Coalition MoU, which made it possible to defeat Yahya Jammeh, and evict him from the country. It is clear the document that made a coalition possible, the memorandum of understanding, is being discarded without justification, and out of greed and political convenience. A constitution that for twenty-two years, was mindlessly violated in the most egregious manner, is, all of a sudden, being held up as a paragon of law and justice. I hope they can tell it to the families of those involved in the six different executions carried out by the former regime. Apart from the reckless effort to dishonour the MoU, VP Darboe and President Barrow are aware of the fluidity as a document which, unlike our laws, is easily amended, altered or cast away as useless and irrelevant. In fact, President Adama Barrow is complicit in mangling the constitution when he decided to appoint the age-disqualified Mrs Tambajang as vice president; holding the position open for months, until he could skirt the Constitution by amending it for the purpose of appointing Mrs Tambajang. A constitution needs only one case of willful abuse to be tainted as inappropriate and even worthless. What happened in the case of VP Tambajang and probably even in the case of VP Darboe, was a manipulation of the constitution in a manner that was unbecoming; perhaps even tampering with the law. Besides, VP Darboe needs to understand that when President Barrow was elected, it was as a representative of each of the seven parties of the coalition. In theory and practice, every party leader shares a stake of the presidency, and shouldn’t have left decision-making, without inputs, in the hands of Adama Barrow. In a coalition, partners have a right to accept or reject what President Barrow does or doesn’t do. Each party has its own interests, different from the interests of President Barrow, which they must protect and preserve, regardless of the Coalition. Mathew Jallow USA]]>

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