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Barrow Remains Defiant Against Coalition Agreement; Promises to Uphold Constitution

Gambian President, Adama Barrow has reiterated his defiance of not honoring the Coalition 2016 Agreement that ushered him to power, arguing that the constitution of The Gambia mandated him to rule for a full five years.

President Barrow made the statement in his 13 minute New Year Speech to the Gambian people, some of whom are asking him to step-down on January 19th, 2020 as agreed in the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) entered into by stakeholders of the Coalition.

“To resign after three years in office implies betraying the people, multiple of whom continue to support my government and our agenda. I have judiciously counseled myself to bow to the will of the people and I refuse to yield to the sentiments and ambition of a minority group,” President Barrow stated in his New Year Address to the nation.

Outlining some of his reasons for not resigning in January  2020, the Gambian leader adduced that the apparent and prevailing circumstances linked to failures in institution, abuse of office, human rights and bad governance warrants his decision to continue to serve for the rest of his five year constitutional mandate.

“I have sworn by the Holy Quran in Dakar and in The Gambia to defend and act according to the national constitution. Under these circumstances I cannot honor the Coalition agreement to prevail over the constitution,” President Barrow emphasized.

     Barrow sworn in as Gambian President in Dakar, Senegal

He added: “The confidence and mandate entrusted upon me has subsequently guided me to respect the voice and the will of the people to maintain the full constitutional mandate of five years. It is in this spirit that both the legislative and local government elections were held and circumstances now dictates that national development and national interest supersedes partisan or sectional interest.”.

The Gambian leader continued to state that he will serve for five years as stipulated in the constitution of The Gambia, adding that he is in a good state of mind to run the affairs of the country and there is no prevailing circumstances that can warrant his resignation.

“The greatest threat to a nation is disorder and instability. Lawlessness will undermine the peace and tranquility we all enjoy. While all citizens should remain vigilant, the security services have to be alert and well disposed to maintain law and order and to defend our sovereignty and territorial integrity,” President Barrow warned.

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