Six Coalition Stakeholders Extend Barrow’s Term to Five Years, Hamat Bah Said Majority Speaks The Language
The Gambia’s Tourism and Culture Minister who is also the leader of the National Reconciliation Party (NRP), Hamat N.K Bah has confirmed on Friday that six out of eight political establishments that formed Coalition 2016 have agreed to allow President Adama Barrow to serve five years – until 2021 elections.
Mr. Bah was speaking on national radio and described the outcome of the meeting which was held at the State House and attended by the president, as a ‘landmark achievement.’
According to him, the decision was necessitated by the ongoing reforms the country is going through which could not be exhausted in three years as it was agreed.
Discussing the absence of key stakeholders specifically the United Democratic Party (UDP) and People’s Democratic Organization for Independence and Socialism (PDOIS), Bah said it their decision not to be present.
“That has nothing to do with us because we knew that the organization is intact and we are aware that there is a need for quorum and we are aware that whatever happens, the majority will always speak the language…so even if two parties are not there or three parties, once the other five are there the agreement is good to go. That’s it,” Bah concluded
The NRP leader added that if the two parties felt that they don’t want to be part of the discussions, that decision will be taken as their choice which is internal. “But if the two are away and six are present that is a landmark achievement.” Bah said.
However, he refused the suggestion that the meeting was an extension of the president’s term from three to five years but a confirmation. “The word extension I don’t want to hear. The word confirmation is what I want to hear – we are confirming what Barrow was elected for.”
The Coalition 2016 was formed by seven political parties and one independent, namely; PDOIS, UDP, NRP, NCP, PPP, GPDP, GMC and Dr. Isatou Touray, the current Vice President. All eight establishments threw their weights behind Adama Barrow, who resigned from his party, UDP, to become an independent candidate. They parties agreed to a three-year term for President Barrow who would go on to defeat dictator Jammeh in the 2016 elections. All the parties to the coalition (except the UDP and PDOIS) were represented in the meeting held today Friday the 27th of September at State House. .