State House, Banjul, 27th September 2019 – The Chairperson of Coalition 2016, Aja Fatoumata Jallow Tambajang, has declared that the Coalition has agreed to support the 2021 constitutional mandate of President Adama Barrow. The parties excluded United Democratic Party and Peoples Democratic Party for Independence and Socialism who were not represented at the stakeholder meeting.
Following an audience with President Barrow at the State House in Banjul, Madame Tambajang, who led a delegation of Coalition stakeholders, told the State House Press Corps that the development program, especially the reform agenda, of the Coalition government cannot be fully implemented in less than five years.
“On the basis of the incompletion of the reforms agenda, we, as a coalition, have decided to extend his [referring to President Barrow] social legitimacy from three (3) years to five (5) years,’’ Chairperson Jallow Tambajang said, revealing that the decision followed two years of consultations with all stakeholders both home and abroad.
Madame Tambajang added that the decision to extend was never solicited by the President; instead, it was borne out of the realization that it defeats logic and reason to abandon the ongoing reforms halfway and call for a new election.
“That is why I said today is historic. This is something the whole world should hear. His Excellency did not ask for it. The Coalition is standing for the country and will continue standing for the country. We will continue to champion the cause of the country. That is why we thought it prudent to come and discuss and assess the journey so far’’.
The Coalition Chairperson stressed that the Coalition stakeholders are now going to amend the agreement in line with the decision taken at the Friday meeting, arguing that the signed agreement, and not the MOU, is what binds the stakeholders.
“The MoU is important. But the fundamentals are the agreements signed by all parties, which entail the reform agenda. If that reform agenda is incomplete, and considering the state in which we took government, we cannot leave that half-way and ask for elections or find another president. That is not rational. It is not logical.”
The Chairperson of the Coalition 2016 and one time Vice President, Mrs. Fatoumatta Jallow-Tambajang told the media that their mission to the Presidency was meant to discuss with their flag bearer, President Adama Barrow on how they can strengthen the coalition body as an institution in order to support the government. Part of their plans, she disclosed, include setting up a fully-fledged secretariat as well as embarking on a national dialogue with the public on the way forward.
Mrs. Jallow-Tambajang described President Barrow as someone who has shown interest, respect, and recognition for the Coalition.