UDP leader withdraws pledge to defend Barrow on 5-year mandate

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EYEAFRICA TV: Banjul, The Gambia: Leader of The United Democratic Party has withdrawn his pledge to defend President Adama Barrow in bid to complete a five-year transitional term.

Relations between President Barrow, and Lawyer Ousainou Darboe, onetime Minister of Foreign Affairs, and then vice president melted leading to his firing from cabinet, in March this year.

Darboe announced during a UDP press conference on Wednesday that his party has not seen any substantial ground warranting the extension of the 2016 coalition mandate even though, President Barrow has vowed to go by the five-year constitutional dictates.

“The UDP urges all the parties to the 2016 Coalition agreement particularly its principal beneficiary, president Adama Barrow to be faithful to the terms and conditions of the 2016 coalition agreement and also fulfil his promise to the Gambian electorates that if elected he will serve for a term of three years only and step down to supervise free, fair and transparent presidential elections.”

“And certainly, I don’t think Gambia wants leaders that are deceitful. I think Gambia wants leaders that will accept and fulfil the promises they have made irrespective of what the consequences are. You should be able to really subordinate your personal interest in other to be on a higher moral ground.”

Darboe, together with eighteen members of the UDP were in jail, but the Barrow administration accorded them amnesty following the victory over the 22-year rule of exiled former president, Yahya Jammeh.

He became the first political figure to openly encourage Barrow to disregard the coalition agreement of three years, threatening to take legal action against anyone who attempts to force the president out of office.

Barrow’s political Godfather said he found his earlier stance in contradiction with his party. His call is coming in 54 days to the end of the coalition agreement. It is also his first official statement despite having alleged to be among the forces fueling civil calls for Barrow to step down this December.

“I do not and I cannot overrule the party on anything. When President Barrow was been selected, I had proposed Dr Isatou Touray and president said who is Ousainou for his voice to stand? Meaning I am just part of the party. I cannot dictate to the party.

So, if I cannot dictate to the party on selection of a Presidential flagbearer, I cannot dictate to the party to adopt my position at all. “We urge him to respect that condition but is up to him to contest to the next elections and is up to the Gambian people to give their votes to him.”

President Adama Barrow came into power following a month-long political crisis following the defeat of ex-president who is now in Equatorial Guinea. Gambians were united on the desire for change for freedom of speech, assembly and standard of living.

Confusion began to rock the statehouse political direction when relation between what evolved as ‘the Barrow fans club’ and the United Democratic Party melted.

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