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Sunday, September 19, 2021

We are all ears

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By Musa Bah

With the raging debate on social media about the three-year transitional period stipulated by the Coalition 2016 Memorandum of Understanding [MoU] versus the five year term stipulated by the constitution of the country, all roads now lead to State House and all ears are tuned to you. We are all ears!


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The country is now divided into two camps. One camp believes that you should honour the Memorandum of Understanding which says that your transitional government should last for three years after which you are to resign and fresh elections held. This camp bases its argument on the fact that Gambians voted for you and the Coalition based on this MoU thus you should honour it.


The second camp bases its argument on the fact that the Constitution of the country stipulates that an elected president shall serve for a term of five years. Thus, the Constitution being the overriding law book in the country cannot – and should not – be abrogated for an MoU signed [or not signed, according to some] by a few Gambians.


The truth is that, the arguments of both camps have some merit in them and, following either of these two cannot be faulted by anyone. If you choose to resign after three years, it will be acceptable. If you choose to complete the five year term as stipulated by the Constitution, again it is acceptable.


However, Mr President, the truth remains that it was the the extraordinary nature of the December 2016 election that gave birth to this confusion. We had reached a stage where all Gambians had one aim – this was unanimous – and that was to oust Yahya Jammeh and do away with dictatorship forever. Due to this, opposition parties came together and formulated this MoU and agreed that one candidate should lead and if and when, we succeed, such a candidate should serve for a period of three years. His job, according to the agreement, would be to reform our laws in toto and level the playing field in readiness for the next presidential election.


With this agenda, you campaigned and Gambians voted for you with that understanding. Thus, not resigning after three years would be betraying a moral obligation, – if not a legal obligation. We expect therefore that you will honour the agreement. If you do, you will be honoured forever in this country, and indeed the whole world. If on the other hand you complete the five years, no one can hold that against you.

The bottom line is: the ball is in your court. So, we are all ears!

Have a good day Mr President.

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