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MAJORITY LEADER DEFENDS BARROW’S RIGHT TO THIRD TERM

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By Omar Bah

The Majority Leader of the National Assembly has said contrary to the recent opinion of Edwin Snowe chairman of the Ecowas parliamentary committee on political affairs, there is no law banning President Barrow from seeking a third term. 

The Ecowas parliamentarian from Liberia in a media interview advised Barrow to follow Senegalese president Macky Sall’s example to shun a third term bid. Mr Snowe also advised Barrow against relying on constitutional technicalities and reminded him that Ecowas has invested hugely in The Gambia’s peace and stability following the Jammeh tyranny.

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In his reaction, Billay Tunkara said Mr Snowe’s comments are “unjustifiable and out of place” because Mr Barrow and Mr Sall’s situations are completely different.

He added: “In Senegal, it is more about constitutionality because there is already an existing legislature that bars more than two terms consecutively. But in our case, there is no single legislation or existing law that stops President Barrow from running for another term”.

Tunkara further said contrary to Mr Snowe’s opinion, all major international groups, Ecowas, EU, AU and the UN are proud of the democratic gains under President Barrow.

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“Right now, the manner in which Barrow handles this country’s democracy is unprecedented in the entire sub region. We should do everything humanly possible to maintain and guard those gains. I urge him to desist from such utterances and let me clarify that Mr Snowe was expressing his own personal sentiments and his utterances have nothing to with Ecowas as a whole,” Mr Tunkra said.

“The first thing is for him to know that being the chairman of the Ecowas Parliament’s committee on political affairs doesn’t mean he can speak on behalf of the committee so loosely without the mandate to do so.  He has never discussed this with the committee neither has the committee given any recommendation to that effect,” Tunkara said.

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