By Lamin Cham
President Adama Barrow is expected to end the long wait and suspense over the formation of a new cabinet, which many believe will come by this weekend. Though the president has never stated a date for the announcement of a new cabinet, he made it clear to the nation that the cabinet he inaugurated last December is a transitional one. He was widely suspected to have delayed the formation of the cabinet until after the April 9th National Assembly elections, reportedly to avoid any crack in his formidable alliance.
Since then, unconfirmed rumours started flying about appointments into both cabinet and the foreign service. A few weeks ago, Government Spokesman Ebrima Sankareh hinted on West Coast Radio that the announcement could come by the end of April. With only a day left of April, people going by that prediction now believe the new cabinet is imminent.
A source within the corridors of power said the president is keeping the nature of his expected new cabinet very close to his chest and it has so far proved impossible for anyone to make a right guess.
However in January, President Barrow told The Standard that majority of his new cabinet will come from his NPP and its coalition partners. He said there could be technocrats too but he believed that loyalty is very important in politics and it will not be fair for you to over look someone who fight for you for one who is staying at his corner. However, with almost all the new political parties and presidential aspirants throwing their weight behind the NPP, coupled with a few others from the initial Coalition 2016, President Barrow will have a long list of potential appointees to draw from for the 21 cabinet positions he has to fill. As to whether they could be huge surprises, our source said there is high probability that a few powerful political allies of the president would stay but there will be more new comers than old ones. “What the president needs is a clean slate in his new term and therefore he must avoid bringing back people perceived to be unpopular by the public. He should inject fresh, competent people into cabinet with political consideration. That’s all we can do as citizens. The ball is in the court of Adama Barrow to select a team that will run the affairs of this country for another five years,” our source said. Meanwhile, another source told The Standard that the President could better still wait until the festive Koriteh period is over which could be early next week.