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Gambians demand elections citing three-year presidency pact


Gambians want their president to honour a promise to serve three years back in 2019. This was why thousands of Gambians on Monday thronged streets in the capital Banjul, calling for President Adama Barrow to step down from power.

Despite the consitution at the time giving the president a five-year term renewable multiple times, then president-elect Adama Barrow said he was going to serve a three-year term.

But pronouncements in the last few months show that he now intends to stay for the constitutionally mandated five year term. The move has birth activist groups like ‘Three Years Jotna’ movement, or ‘Three years is enough.’

A lead activist of the movement, Abdou Njie, said: “We made the pact with the president for three years. Now the three years are up and he doesn’t want to step down. So now we as Gambian citizens are ready for anything!”

According to him, the protesters have given President Barrow until January 2020 to leave power. His predecessor lost polls in December 2016 but was eventually ousted in early 2017 after Barrow had taken oath of office in Senegal where he was “exiled.”

At his first press conference in 2016 after the shock win over long serving Jammeh, Barrow reiterated that he was going to serve for a three-year transition period following which elections were going to be held.

The reduced term happened to be part of an opposition coalition deal that spelled out a transition period. It was a key part of the Memorandum of Understanding signed by all coalition parties who united before the polls that toppled Jammeh.

Seven opposition parties united behind Barrow in the run up to the polls. He succeeded in unseating Jammeh who had ruled the Gambia for over two decades. Jammeh is currently on exile in Equatorial Guinea.

Photo credit: ``ALHAGIEMANKA

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