‘Term-limit is non-negotiable’

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By Omar Bah

The Minister of Tourism and Culture, Hamat N.K. Bah, has said that the Coalition’s promise to introduce a two term limit for presidents is not negotiable.
“That is absolute and there would be no compromise about it. Nobody will serve more than two terms in this country anymore. I will not be a party to anything different because I know how much it has cost Africa and I cannot go back to the drawing board again,” he said.

Speaking recently, Bah further revealed that two terms is enough for any president to do anything he/she wants to do for the country.“After you go someone else comes because nobody can do everything. You do your part and somebody else does his part. I strongly believe that two terms is a must.”
On the Coalition agreement for Barrow to serve only three years, Mr Bah said the constitution is the supreme law of the land and any agreement or law that is inconsistent with the provisions of the constitution of the Gambia is void.

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“When we were agreeing to the three years agreement, we knew very well that the constitution says five years…But let me tell you one thing, we never thought what we found inside was there. We underestimated the utmost job that needs to be done; we only realised it when we got in,” he said.
Bah added: “Let me put it this way, we have got one year gone now. The impasse took most of our time. We inherited institutions that were completely destroyed. No proper handing-over, our civil service was in disarray; completely destroyed. We never thought this level of corruption existed or somebody can do such evil in a system.”

He said this is the right time to put up government institutions so that tomorrow nobody can do what has happened in the past.
“Let me tell you one thing, what we need is a new constitution and the process of getting every stakeholder to participate takes nothing less than three years. The Commission of Inquiry and TRRC where we expect the atrocities committed by Jammeh to be exposed is yet to be finalised,” he explained.
On whether that would be betrayal of trust, Bah said the decision is justified. “In fact you can say it was agreed but who can bring me the document where we signed it?”
On whether NRP will form any tactical alliance with UDP in the upcoming local government election, Mr Bah said: “NRP and UDP have a lot in common and we do not want to compete each other for the benefit of the APRC.”

“For example in 2011 when everybody abandoned the UDP, we went with them because they needed us and we needed them. We all believe in the private sector economy and we all believe in capitalism as a system there is no doubt about that. We are not socialists; we do not talk about that,” he said.
Bah added: “We have seen in the last election we lost certain seats because we did not coordinate. If we have coordinated those seats would not have been in the opposition. We have learned from the past and we have decided where UDP are, we let it go.”

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