If his speech at Faraba Banta is to go by President Barrow is going to stay in office as a president who is given a five year mandate and has called on all those aspiration for the presidency to accept his five year term and be ready to contest for the next term of office. What is best now is simply to issue a press release to the effect and remove all uncertainty as to whether he will stay for three years or five years.
The Coalition wanted an ideal situation which provided for the president who comes to office through a coalition agreement to serve for three years in order to give a good example of how to put an end to self-perpetuating rule. A three year term would have been an example for others to follow.
It is now becoming clear that President Barrow does not consider that argument to be pertinent. Gambians must however remain focused. The Gambia is 53 years old. It attained the right to self-determination since 1965 but the people did not exercise that right to become a republic in 1965. Because of ignorance the people did not vote to get the required majority to become a republic until 1970.
After 30 years the country changed through a coup d’état. The next government also stayed for 22 years. Another cycle commenced on the 19th of January 2017. Some anticipated that the Coalition will provide a standard of best practice by having a president who will serve only for three years and also ensure that he or she plays his or her role in promoting the introduction of a two term limit after leaving office.
We should take note of what President Barrow said. The picture appears to have changed and the scenario which seems to be evolving is that the President will serve for five years and still endorse future term limits.