Gambia: Barrow Should Decide to Serve for 3 or 5 Years in Office – Halifa Sallah

By Ousman A. Marong

National Assembly Member for Serrekunda and Secretary General of People’s Democratic Organization for Independence and Socialism (PDOIS), Halifa Sallah has said that it is all up to President Adama Barrow to decide either to honor the 3-year coalition agreement or the 5-year mandate as stated in the constitution.

Sallah made the statement during a radio talk show at King FM when the presenter, Kebba Camara quizzed him about PDOIS’ stance about the ‘3-Years Jotna’ campaign.

‘3-Years Jotna’ is a campaign demanding for President Barrow’s honoring of a 3-year agreement with coalition stakeholder in 2016 and it was the political promise to the electorate and the Gambian populace.

“We supported President Barrow to govern under the constitution and the constitution stated that he should serve for five years but he can also serve for three years and then resigned. It is all up to President Barrow to choose what to do and let the citizenry decides what next. What President Barrow chooses to do is not the problem of PDOIS,” he explained.

The Serrekunda NAM stressed he shouldn’t be asked questions about President Barrow running his constitutional 5-year mandate or he should honor the 3-year agreement with coalition partners.

“PDOIS being part of the coalition team, we have played our part and that is to ensure Gambia that gets out of dictatorship,” he remarked.

He said the constitution has clearly spelt it out that the president can rule for five years or can resign.

“We had an agreement for Barrow to serve for 3 years which everyone knows about. If he chooses to go ahead and serve for five years then he will sully his image. So it is up to him. I shouldn’t be asked about this. It is up to President Barrow,” he reiterated.

The 66-year-old veteran politician who served spokesperson of Coalition 2016 during the political deadlock in the country was further asked about his rejection of ministerial and adviser position offered to him by President Barrow.

“I called for a convention and it happen that Barrow won ahead of me. I could have done like most did which was to complain, but I didn’t because I looked up to the interest of the nation. Barrow appointed me to be his spokesperson out of utmost trust, a work I did. He offered me to be his adviser. Obviously this one we will need to look at it again. If it’s just advice he needed or needs, I would do that. But I cannot be a paid adviser because then I will only tell him what he wants to hear to protect a position like most would,” said Halifa Sallah.

In response to suggestions that he (Hon Halifa Sallah) was a betrayer of Barrow by refusing to accept a ministerial post, he said, “then they should give the country to us, so that if they feels if we are there they will succeed and if we are not there they will fail. Well, am just joking,” he concluded.

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