By Omar Bah
The leader of the Gambia Moral Congress, Mai Ahmad Fatty, has clarified that his party’s decision to disassociate itself from the extension of President Adama Barrow’s mandate doesn’t mean a rejection of the Gambian leader.
The GMC issued a public statement distancing itself from the declaration of Fatoumatta Jallow Tambajang on the extension of Barrow’s mandate.
But Fatty, who also doubles as the President’s special adviser said the decision was not a rejection or ill intention to sabotage the President.
“As the Leader, I am bound by the Party’s position and decision. GMC assumed a principled stance, not contradicting the law, but rejecting the marginalisation posture adopted by Mrs.Tambajang and her group.
In effect, it is not a rejection of the President, rather an expression of the Party’s repugnance against a fraudulent process; a process that inexorably excluded a major stakeholder like us.
There is no Coalition 2016 without GMC, and the Party felt it cannot validate the conclusion of a process that intentionally excluded us,” he told The Standard yesterday.
He said the 3 years commitment was a matter of pure principle and requires a moral judgment, arguing that “if the President opts for the full five-year mandate, this too is supported by the law, as stated by the President times galore”.
“For me, speaking as an ordinary citizen, it may not be realistic to conduct elections this year. Certainly, I don’t personally find it desirable to go to the polls under Yahya Jammeh’s constitution, while the existing Elections Act itself is replete with anomalies that seek to empower the incumbent.
For credible elections to take place, the elections law and all other processes relating to elections must be overhauled, and replaced.
This will not be done before December 2019.
In essence, so far, the relevant administrative, budgetary and statutory structures are not in place for elections to be conducted. That is the realistic situation as we speak,” he added.
Meanwhile, Fatty has also added his voice to the statement by Vice President Dr Isatou Touray, who had said the coalition’s decision to extend Barrow’s mandate to 5 years was discussed at the first cabinet meeting.
Fatty said: “Cabinet has no such authority, and no such agenda item was ever discussed up to the time I left cabinet on 10 November 2017.
I was present at the first ever cabinet meeting of this government mentioned by Dr. Touray, but the President’s tenure did not even come within cabinet’s contemplation.
VP Touray should refresh her memory by referring to the minutes of our first cabinet meeting.
I am certain that being a credible national figure, she will subsequently amend her public assertion on this”.
Having said that, Mr Fatty went on, “President Barrow derives the legality of his claimed 5 years tenure from the Constitution as stated by himself, he remains committed to serving the full term. Therefore, I see no wisdom in continuing to flog a dead horse,” he concluded.