QUESTION OF THE DAY
DID THE NEWYEAR MESSAGE OF THE PRESIDENT END THE CONTRADICTORY MESSAGES ON HIS DECLARATION THAT GAMBIA IS AN ISLAMIC REPUBLIC?
In his Christmas message the President condemned the use of violent atrocities in the name of Islam and promised to maintain the status quo in The Gambia.
In his New Year message the president said among other things “Fellow Gambians recently I pronounced the Gambia as an Islamic State and Republic on the bases that the majority of Gambians are Muslims and the need to uphold this Islamic identity and faith in an environment of true Islam where the rights of all citizens will be preserved and respected. In this respect, I call on both Muslims and Christians to continue living together peacefully and working in harmony for the common good of the country regardless of our ethno linguistic differences. As Muslims and Christians we should eradicate tribalism in the Gambia ……………….”
The President has not clarified what the Islamic Republic would be like and how it would be established by law and when. He claims that it is already in existence but he is yet to declare that he has carried out a coup d’etat against his own government, suspended the 1997 Constitution and promulgated a decree establishing the Islamic Republic.
Hence, in actual fact, the Islamic Republic is still wishful thinking and the status quo under the 1997 Sovereign Republic remains. No Republic could exist without a Republican Constitution. The Islamic Republic is no exception. Hence, the President is likely to bring the integrity of the executive into disrepute if he continues to call Gambia an Islamic Republic but cannot produce a Constitution to back his claim. The world has passed that stage where Presidents sleep over night and wake up to declare new constitutional eras. That was the age of the emperors. Even monarchs have their constitutions. We will keep readers informed of every move on this subject.