The Chronicle Gambia

PDOIS Leader Says President’s State of Nation’s Address Failed to Cover 3- Or 5-Years Controversy

Halifa Sallah, Secretary General of the People’s Democratic Organisation for Independence and Socialism (PDOIS) has stated that the President’s State of the Nation’s Address failed to address the 3- or 5-years controversy currently grappling the national discourse. He made this remark during his contribution to the debate on the State of the Nation’s Address delivered by President Adama Barrow last month.

President Barrow addressing the nation at the National Assembly

Last week, the National Assembly suspended its sitting on the debate of the State of the Nation’s Address demanding the presence of the President or the Vice President at the Chambers before they could proceed with any discussion relative to the State of the Nation’s Address. 

The debate was consequently adjourned until today when Dr. Isatou Touray, Vice President of the Republic appeared before the Deputies to represent the president as well as answer to questions emanating from the nation’s address.

“The President’s address failed to address the 3- or 5-years controversy that is currently ongoing in the country. He could have made a clear statement on that whether he will go by the agreement or he will go by the constitutional provision,” Halifa Sallah adduced at the date.

According to him, the rationale for the formation of the Coalition 2016 was to form a unify front in defeating former President Yahya Jammeh at the ballot box at a time when 95 percent of nation weren’t sure whether this could be possible or not. He said the coming together of the opposition parties under one umbrella and one presidential candidate to lead the opposition was the surest way to dislodging Yahya Jammeh from power.

“To me the Coalition has died long since and now it is left to the discretion of the President to honor the three years agreement that brought him to power or go by the constitution of the Republic of The Gambia which is the supreme law of the land,” PDOIS Leader disclosed at the Assembly.

Halifa Sallah further contributed that the Coalition 2016 stakeholders were well aware of the five years constitutional provision of a sitting President of the Republic of The Gambia, arguing that the three years agreement was meant to be used as a tactic to end Yahya Jammeh’s rule in the country. 

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He added that Gambians shouldn’t belabor much on the issue whether President Barrow should serve three years or five years, adding that it is Barrow’s own discretion to either honor the three years strategic tactic he entered into with the Coalition 2016 Stakeholders or go by the five years constitutional provision.

“It is constitutional for the president to resign after he serves three years, there is nothing bad with that but equally it is constitutional for him to serve the five years constitutional provision. The discretion to resign or otherwise is left with President Barrow and no one can force him to do so,” Halifa Sallah explained before the assembly.

National Assembly session

He also challenge the Vice President and the Minister of Health to pay a visit to the Serrekunda Health Center to see for themselves the deplorable condition of the facility, disclosing that the state of the facility is unbearable and urgent measures should be taken to address it.

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