Gambian president, Adama Barrow, has assured citizens of a transition to full constitutional rule before his new five-year tenure elapse.
Mr Barrow, who was pronounced re-elected after polling 457, 519 votes in the Saturday, December 4 election, said this while fielding questions from journalists at the State House on Tuesday.
In 2016, as an independent candidate, a relatively unknown Mr Barrow contested and won the presidential election, defeating long-time dictator, Yahya Jammeh.
Upon assuming power, Mr Barrow’s cabinet came up with a draft constitution to replace the 1997 constitution but the draft was rejected by the National Assembly.
Mr Barrow on Monday promised he would see to the passage of the constitution before his tenure ends.
He said, “I’m a big fan of term limits, I’m a big fan of absolute majority but as I said, these things is (are) not the president’s decision. It has to pass through processes, I think the national assembly. The document got to the National Assembly, they disagreed, we tried to negotiate through mediators.
“But I assure, I want that project to be part of my legacy, I assure you, we’ll have a new constitution before the end of my term. No doubt about that, I’m committed to it.
“I assure you and the whole world and the whole Gambians that we’ll have a new constitution, we’ll have term limits and absolute majority.”
After 22 years of dictatorship under Mr Jammeh, who is now in exile in Equatorial Guinea, Mr Jammeh is seen largely as a peace builder and prime custodian of the country’s democracy.
One of the key provisions of the 2020 draft constitution is section 5 which limits the president’s tenure to 10 years of two five-year terms.
It is currently not clear if the new draft constitution would count Mr Barrow’s past five years rule as his first term or start a fresh count from 2020.