‘Optimistic’ Jonathan says third visit would yield positive results as he meets President Barrow

EYEAFRICA TV: Banjul, THE GAMBIA:-Former President of The Federal Republic of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan said he is optimistic that the consultations with the political parties which is a sequel to the Abuja meeting, would yield positive results.

Jonathan was speaking reporters on Tuesday after paying a courtesy call on Gambian leader Adama Barrow.

The chief negotiator is back in Banjul for the third time to support the country’s ongoing constitutional review process and facilitate the process of forging a workable national consensus.

“The objective is to get a new constitution for The Gambia and for the country to move forward,” he said.

As usual, Jonathan is expected to meet political party leaders, civil society organizations and other relevant stakeholders.

Last month, leaders of 15 political parties went to Abuja for a 3-day dialogue with Jonathan.

They however came back with no breakthrough and NPP accused UDP of been the cause of the stalemate.

The stalemate is said to be centered around the retroactive clause in the draft constitution.

The so-called retroactive clause would have condemned President Adama Barrow to just another new five-year term in office. Barrow’s camp believe that the term he is serving shouldn’t count and therefore, the clause should be omitted.

UDP however disagrees. The party’s leader, Lawyer Ousainou Darboe said the right to change the constitution belongs to the people.

“This is the people’s constitution and it is only the people who have the right to make any changes to it,” he said last month.

UDP also rejected the manner in which the draft should be submitted to National Assembly and wants it to remain unaltered when taken to the parliament.

Majority of the political parties, including GDC, GMC, CA and GAP, have all agreed to let the retroactive clause slide so as to find a consensus.

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