It’ll be irresponsible of anyone to go out on protest in trying to force out the Barrow government when we have democratic process in place to effect peaceful political changes in The Gambia. The democratic process in The Gambia is one dimensional- the constitution.

Almost everyone talks about what the constitution says about this and that and leaving out the all-important political process in the National Assembly which is the most up to date and current representation of the democratic wishes of the people.

In a democracy, the outcomes of the democratic processes of the parliament are as lawful and legally binding as the clauses in the constitution. The parliament is a legislative body and decisions adopted by the parliament are legal and enforceable.

The abandoned MOU has nothing to do with the tenure of the president in the constitution. The MOU could simply have been implemented through the political process in the National Assembly. The MOU was the up to date and most current political decision taken by Gambians from the last general election.

So it was daft and completely stupid for anyone to argue that the MOU contradicts the constitution of The Gambia. The political process in the National Assembly is the most important bit that the Gambian democratic process lacks.

Those who are calling for demonstrations to force out the Barrow government are cruising for a bruising. We don’t want political troubles in The Gambia. We have to apply the political process in the National Assembly and stop wrongly falling back on the constitutional myth to keep our political governance relevant in reflecting the expressed democratic will of the people.

The MOU of Dec. 2016 is dead and buried. Because most of us wrongly latched onto the nonsense about the tenure of the president in the constitution when actually it’s the application of the political process in the National Assembly that could have enforced the MOU.

In a democracy, the political decisions that we made cannot be discounted just like that because we don’t like the consequences of our decisions down the line. Democratic governance is about following the due process.

So it’s therefore very important to be very mindful of the decisions that we have to make and their consequences. Darboe said that President Barrow is elected to serve five years in power.

And that decision of Darboe effectively killed any chance of the implementation of the coalition agreement through the National Assembly;
because there’s no majority in parliament to enforce the three year political transition.

I hope next time, we’ll be more careful with the political decisions we arrive at. The constitution says that the tenure of the president is for five years.
But we could have invoked the democratic process in the National Assembly to enforce the MOU.

But the UDP being the political party that holds the most seats in parliament withdrew the party’s support for the MOU of a three year political transition. And that was the end of the Dec 2016 MOU.

If you want President Barrow to stand down after the three years that he campaigned on, get your MPs to agree to passing a motion in the National Assembly that’ll force him out. If not, next time then.

It’s irresponsible to call for demonstrations to force out the president when we could pursue the democratic process in the National Assembly. If you have anyone to blame for the abandonment of the MOU, look no further than Darboe and the UDP leadership.

By Yusupha Bojang

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