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COLUMN | Is 4 Years of President Adama Barrow Deserving of Commemoration or Lamentation?

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By Pa Louis Sambou    T he  fourth anniversary of the Barrow Presidency, unlike the previous three, appeared to have been accorded a much greater degree of recognition and publicity with the cross-cutting theme much more conventional than that of the previous anniversaries. To a very large extent, this year’s theme centred on his achievements thus far rather than whether or not he will honour the non-legally binding Coalition ‘agreement’ and step down. Whether the absence of the latter from the general public commentary regarding the subject matter is an achievement (or perhaps the singular achievement thus far albeit not for commendable reasons) or not, is arguably a subject for debate. What is however not a subject for debate is that this anniversary’s theme sets a much more conventional and stringent assessment criteria: President Barrow’s achievements so far.    Whether or not the elevated test as per the above should be a cause for concern for President Barrow depends on whether o

REJOINDER | Open Letter to Citizens’ Alliance – Re: Your Public References Denoting Violence

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  In a press conference held or  broadcast  on Friday 15 th  January 2021 which was widely  reported  by several media outlets, your party leader and flag bearer Dr Ismaila Ceesay expressed your party’s concerns and frustration in respect of matters surrounding the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) in the context of the forthcoming Presidential elections. It is fair to say that most of the concerns raised are mutual with the vast majority of the Gambian public and possibly non-Gambian observers. Your tenacity in holding the IEC accountable is commendable and it is the right thing to do.    You are absolutely right to emphasise and remind the IEC of its constitutional duty as the regulator and convening authority for all publicly mandated elections. Against the backdrop of what seems a very disorganised, ill-prepared IEC and an incumbent which increasingly gives the impression that it wishes to exploit such vulnerability, your party leader’s message could not have come at a better

COLUMN | Are We Sleepwalking into Another Post-Election Impasse?

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By Pa Louis Sambou  I n an election year (2021) in The Gambia, Electoral Commission’s first official move is to  announce the shredding of voter registration timetable  dramatically coinciding with the President’s first official appointment of the year: to unlawfully parachute a party militant, Mr Remi Joiner to the vacant post of Vice Chairman of the Electoral Commission. Never-mind the weakness of the perpetuated allegations surrounding the capacity and constitutional legitimacy of the Commission’s Chairman, these two seriously ill-advised acts of self-harm by the two aforementioned entities in question, whether occurring independently of their own accord or as part of a coordinated conspiracy, they’re nevertheless daring enough to legitimately put all stakeholders of the electoral process on edge. I’m personally not convinced by the claims of a conspiracy but, the concerns expressed in reaction to the above are absolutely valid and legitimate. Therefore, if this is the trend of even

COLUMN | Constitutionality (or Not) of Current IEC Chairman’s Position

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  By Pa Louis Sambou      If one reels together the pitiful state of affairs of our post dictatorship transition, one realises that its essence is no longer what marshals the delivery of what was supposed to be ‘the reform agenda’, something which has since mutated so much overtime, every party has their own unique  strain  of what ‘the reform agenda’ is. What an enigmatic pathogen! Perhaps the uniqueness of this strange enigma explains the choice of mediator, Mr Goodluck Jonathan who was so unique a political breed, he  united a divided and chaotic opposition and, Northern and Southern elites against him and repelled his natural political allies and as if that’s not bad enough an indictment, he went on to lose an election which could you believe was ironically rigged in his favour . So effectively, the mediator’s relevance past his sell by date is coincidentally an enigma in itself which perhaps must have been the sole criteria upon which his appointment as mediator was made. What cou