The #GambiaHasDecided group has called on President Adama Barrow to ensure that the appointment of the Vice President is fully compliant with the Constitution and any doubt about her age is resolved without an iota of ambiguity.
According to them, the ongoing uncertainty and conflicting information about the appointed Vice President’s age is encouraging a lot of speculation which in turn in undermining confidence in the new government.
#GambiaHasDecided, which a civil society initiative promoting democracy and the rule of law, had the most trend hastag on social media during the Gambia’s Presidential election and post election crisis.
In a letter address to President Barrow dated January 31st and signed by Salieu Taal, Chair of the #GambiaHasDecided, the group reminded President Barrow of what he rightly said during his inauguration that ‘to whom much is given, much is expected’ and they expect nothing less than probity, accountability and respect for the rule of law.
The group expressed concern over the appointment of Mrs Fatoumata Jallow-Tambajang as Vice President in the face of doubts about her eligibility on the grounds that she is reportedly over the age of 65. In their view, the group said the Vice President nominee has the requisite academic qualifications, skills, experience and aptitude to discharge her role professionally but however, there is a confusion over her real age.
According to the group, in some records, she is over 65 years old, which disqualifies her from holding the office of Vice President as the 1997 Constitution clearly stipulates that the holder of the Office of the Vice President shall be between the age of 30 years and 65 years old. The group therefore says it is their duty as concerned citizens to bring to President Barrow’s attention any doubts raised about the age of Mrs Tambajang that may impinge on the propriety and constitutionality appointing her to the office of Vice President.
“Your Excellency, at your recent press conference held at your Brufut residence, you have expressed your belief that the appointment of Mrs Fatoumata Jallow-Tambajang is compliant with our constitution and invited the public to proffer any evidence to the country. With respect Your Excellency, the responsibility and anus of ensuring the appointment of any Gambian to the office of Vice President rests on the state. Civil Society as the Fifth Estate are the watch dogs of our democracy and in this capacity, deem it fit to raise the legitimate concerns of the population. The state has all the resources and control over the relevant institution that have the information that can put the impending controversy to rest” the letter reads.
The movement further congratulated President Barrow on his inauguration as President of the Republic of The Gambia following his election victory in the December 1st, 2016 Presidential election.
They also welcomed President Barrow’s return to the shores of The Gambia to take up the mantle of leadership at a critical and challenging time.