THE RULE OF LAW SAYS PRES. BARROW CAN STAY FOR FIVE YEARS; THE THREE YEARS MOU REACHED BY THE COALITION PARTIES WAS NOT A REAL MOU-EU AMBASSADOR DECLARES

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The EU Ambassador to The Gambia Attila Lajos says “The rule of law says an elected President may stay for five years. So, from a legal perspective; from a legal point of view, there is nothing wrong with the winner of the 2016 elections to stay in power for five years. Legally speaking, there is no requirement in any other way.” Ambassador Lajos also says the three years transitional rule Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which was reached among the Coalition parties, was not a serious agreement that could be legally invoked. “It is also true many are claiming that there were promises made. When you refer to this agreement; the so-called agreement among the Coalition parties, we all know that this agreement is not real agreement. This was a draft memorandum of understanding, which effectively really wasn’t signed by the participants. Nevertheless, even if it had been signed, this is not a legal instrument, which will repeal the constitutional provisions,” he added.  He was speaking in an interview with Sheriff Bojang jr. Below is Ambassador Lajos’s pronouncement on the much talked about three years jota. Transcribed by the Freedom Newspaper. Please read on….

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The rule of law says an elected President may stay for five years. So, from a legal perspective; from a legal point of view, there is nothing wrong with the winner of the 2016 elections to stay in power for five years. Legally speaking, there is no requirement in any other way.

It is also true many are claiming that there were promises made. When you refer to this agreement; the so-called agreement among the Coalition parties, we all know that this agreement is not a real agreement. This was a draft memorandum of understanding, which effectively really wasn’t signed by the participants. Nevertheless, even if it had been signed, this is not a legal instrument, which will repeal the constitutional provisions.

From my perspective, what we are talking about here; is a moral question. Any politician, who makes promises are to be held accountable for about whatever promises he or she made.

So, this issue of whether it is right or not by President Barrow to stay in office for five years, it is really not a legal issue. I am not judging whether the President is right or not; I am not judging whether the three years jotna is right or wrong. What I am saying as they are expressing their views and they shall be allowed to express their views because freedom of expression is a cornerstone of any democracy; in anywhere in the world. Civil Society associations are free to protest as we speak now; you can see protest in the country; every now and then; as far as they follow the rules to secure permits; they are allowed to protest.

I am not judging on these issues. What I am saying is that: these are moral questions; political questions, which this country including the civil society and the many different political parties will have to address. But once again, from an EU perspective, we cannot say that there is a legal requirement for the incoming President to step down after three years. He may do so, if he so wishes.

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