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Sunday, May 9, 2021

Letters: Whither the New Gambia: Old wine in new bottles?

Dear editor,

Many people are wondering what has really happened to the New Gambia’s mantra; “Never Again”, when virtually on a daily basis, we are witnessing a repetition of exactly the same bad deeds and actions that used to happen in the Yahya Jammeh era.

One of the things that everyone had been complaining about during the former regime was the frequent misuse of public facilities by former President Jammeh, including using the State House and other state facilities like his personal properties.

We also witnessed how he was frequently using the public media, especially the GRTS, like a propaganda organ of his ruling APRC.

Has anything really changed in that area? Obviously, nothing seems to have changed, instead the misuse of public facilities seems to have become even more blatant. We have seen how President Adama Barrow has also been frequently using the facilities of the State House, and no doubt government resources, to mobilize ethno-linguistic and other parochial groups to come to the State House to sing his praises and pledge allegiance to his NPP. He is also using the facilities of the GRTS to highlight those purely political jamborees, exactly like what used to happen with former President Jammeh, using it as a propaganda organ of the NPP. It is certainly unfair for a state broadcaster like GRTS to allow itself to be transformed into the mouthpiece of the ruling party in this New Gambia, while denying such facilities to the opposition.

This is definitely not what Gambians bargained for when they risked both life and limb to come out in the streets to vote out the Jammeh dictatorship.

It is quite hard to understand how the Barrow regime seems to have been so intoxicated with the trappings of power that he and his minions seem to have so easily forgotten that these were the same unfair tactics that made Gambians despise the Jammeh regime and voted him out.

D. A. Jawo

Former information minister

Is another impasse expected if Barrow loses election?

Dear editor,

At least one indicator is prevalent: The instigators of Yahya Jammeh to challenge the results are currently in the NPP, for example, Seedy Njie.

I have, for a long time, propose for the enactment of a TRANSITION BILL which will specify the nitty-gritty of the 90 days transition period, including the handing over of the mantle of the presidency. Most countries have such nitty-gritty of transition in their constitutions, while others have legislative instruments on it.

The 90 days transition period enshrined in section 69(2) of the 1997 Constitution is far too long for sycophants to convince any ambitious incumbent to finds ways to discredit the results, similar to what happened in January 2017. The Gambia’s current economy and the psyche of her people cannot withstand another impasse.

A transition law creates orderly and smooth transfer of power from one government to another.  Therefore, the AG should propose a TRANSITION BILL as soon as possible before the 2021 polls.

Simon Sabally

USA

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