The United Democratic Party (UDP) wants President Adama Barrow to step down from power at the end of the three-year transition period he (Barrow) had agreed with his coalition partners, per the proposal submitted by the UDP during the ongoing coalition talks held at the Kairaba Beach hotel. The party had made it clear that Barrow should step down come December 2019 and fresh elections be held.

Coalition Chairperson Fatoumatta Jallow Tambajang on Monday briefed the press about the ongoing talks. Though, she did not comment on the UDP position on the matter.

The opposition PDOIS had decided to excuse itself from the talks. “Since 2017 the President has exercised executive authority without the oversight of a coalition. Cabinet composition has been determined without any reference to a coalition agreement. National Assembly and Council Elections have taken place in 2017 and 2018, respectively, without any consideration of a Coalition agreement,” PDOIS Administrative Secretary Edi Jallow remarked in a press release issued on behalf of the party late Monday evening.

“By 2018, parties have held their congresses and have taken major decisions regarding the shaping of the political dispensation of the country without any reference to a Coalition agreement. In this regard, the Bureau of the Central Committee of PDOIS considers it prudent to call on the convener to exclude PDOIS from the current conversation on matters relating to Coalition 2016. The Media is hereby informed that PDOIS is not part of the conversation and its leadership had already requested the convener not to include it in the conversation,” he added.

Fatoumatta Jallow Tambajang had acknowledged receiving the PDOIS communication, but she told journalists that she was not in the position to divulge what PDOIS had said.

Per information reaching us, there is a stalemate among the parties attending the talks. UDP has remained adamant on their position that Barrow should step down from power after serving for three years.

The other parties said they want Barrow to serve the five years constitutional mandate as approved by the constitution.

Ms. Tambajang tried to debunk Barrow’s claims that he was voted to serve for five years as basis to prolong his stay in power. ” When I was appointed Vice President, I swore to serve for five years under the same constitution,” she told one of the reporters at the news briefing.

She said Barrow should be engaged so that a consensus can be reached on the matter. Ms. Tambajang also said they are concerned about the firing of Coalition members from Barrow’s government. She told journalists that they were supposed to meet with Barrow on Thursday to brief him about the outcome of their meeting.

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