Where do you stand in addressing Gambia’s political impasse?

QUESTION OF THE DAY

Where do you stand in addressing Gambia’s political impasse?

On the 18 of January President Jammeh’s term of office will come to an end. Who will occupy the office of president after the end of his term requires the attention of all Gambians.

According to Outgoing President Jammeh he should occupy the post of President until the court decides the fate of his petition. The Constitution does not have a provision which provides for the Office of President to be left vacant after the expiration of the term of the incumbent.

This is precisely the reason why section 46 of the Constitution states that election to the office of president should take place three months before the expiration of the term of office of the incumbent. The drafters of the Constitution did not want the office of the president to be vacant or for a president whose term has expired to remain in office. That is why they included three interconnected provisions in the Constitution. The first provision requires elections to be held before the expiration of the term of the incumbent. The second provision empowers the IEC to announce the winner of a presidential election. And the third provision provides for the person elected winner to assume office at the expiry of the term of the incumbent.

The result of the 1 December 2016 presidential election was announced and the person elected has been declared. The term of office of the incumbent cannot go beyond 19 January 2017.

So why is it difficult for some people to accept this naked truth? There are still people who are insisting that the incumbent should continue to stay in office after the expiration of his term of office. There are others who are calling for him to vacate office at the expiration of his term and facilitate the inauguration of the person elected president.

Where do you stand?