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Monday, May 23, 2022

Letters: Caretaker cabinet for political expediency?

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Dear editor,

Most Gambians are quite confused as to why President Adama Barrow should decide to swear in a “Caretaker” cabinet instead of a new cabinet to begin his second term in office, as everyone had expected.

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Of course, as far as I know, there is no constitutional provision preventing him from doing that, however, it is hard for many people to understand the rationale for such a decision when he had more than two weeks before being sworn-in to work on a new cabinet, even if he had to re-appoint the whole team, so be it. What is responsible for the delay in appointing a new cabinet?

The answer, according to some political analysts, is a political strategy aimed at keeping his fragile alliance together for the National Assembly elections. We have all seen the very long queue that had lined behind him during the run up to the presidential elections and it is quite obvious that the vast majority of those people are expecting to be rewarded for helping him win the elections. He is however quite aware that he cannot meet all their expectations and therefore, if he goes ahead to appoint his cabinet before the legislative elections, there is a possibility that some of his highly expectant allies would become angry for not being included in the cabinet and they may campaign against the NPP during the elections.

Therefore, if he can delay the appointment of a new cabinet, that will help keep his allies in suspense and after the elections when he succeeds in getting the victory he expects, even if they get angry with him for by-passing them in his cabinet appointments, there is not much they can do about it apart from just brooding over their predicament.

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Therefore, the appointment of a “Caretaker” cabinet is a political strategy for President Barrow’s own political expediency rather being done in the national interest.

D. A. Jawo

Former information minister

Re: Barrow delays new cabinet

Dear editor,

If President Barrow believes he wants to retain all his ministers, let him go ahead and do that and clearly inform all his ministers rather than putting their fate unclear and undecided. The outcome will lead to mistrust between President Barrow and his ministers, lack of motivation, low productivity and eventually corruption.

Secondly, a new term of office should begin with certainty to motivate your ministers. This is the conventional practice all over the world.

You are not obliged to appoint new ministers as long as you feel satisfied with your previous ministers, but make it clear to them, so that serious work can commence.

I urge you to reconsider your decision to put your ministers sworn in under a transitional government. Appoint them immediately or you dissolve them and appoint a new cabinet.

Your last five years transitional government have unveiled that the cons far outweighs the pros. So moving in that same direction again will be an oversight of strategy.

Qualifications, experience and track record of successful achievements, should be the guiding principles for the selection criteria for any job including cabinet ministers.

Malleh Saine

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