The head of Gambia’s ruling Coalition that brought President Adama Barrow to power, Hamat Bah, has taken a swipe at fellow coalition leaders who are asking the president to leave office after three years.
Coalition figureheads are locked in a war over a deal they struck before the 2016 election that called for their then-candidate Adama Barrow to serve for only three years in office.
Last Wednesday, the leader of the People’s Progressive Party, Omar Jallow, urged Barrow to quit after three years as per the deal.
The National Reconciliation Party (NRP) at a recent press conference at his party’s office at Westfield also said the Gambian President could not fix the damage caused by ex-president Yahya Jammeh.
Last year Halifa Sallah of the People’s Democratic Organisation for Independence and Socialism asked President Barrow to honour the agreement and resign after three years.
However, Mr Bah said: “We are a party that believes in constitutionality and the constitution says five years… President Barrow was elected to serve for five years and we stand by that. That decision is unshakable. The three-year agreement is not workable and you don’t need to put 1 plus 1 to know that.”
“The country would have been unprepared to hold an election in two years… It is not Barrow. It is us. We are saying he is not moving an inch. It is the people and the Coalition government that will get him to stay in power…Gambians should do away with shortsightedness, sectionalism and jealousy and focus on national development.”
Bah questioned the political relevance of the leaders who have asked President Barrow to step down saying “how popular are their parties”.
“Three years for Barrow is a joke. There is no signed copy that says three years. We had a tentative agreement and the constitution says five years and that is what we will do.”
Bah praised President Barrow for being “a good listener” and someone who was ready to develop the country.
“We will give him the support he needs until his five-year term ends…,” Bah said.