Gainako writes to the Director of Press & Minister of Information Demanding an Explanation on Delay of Swearing in the Vice President

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Amie Bojang-Sissoho Director of Press & Public Affairs

Dear Mrs Amie Bojang Sissoho Director of Press & Public Relations,

We are formally writing to request an official statement and or press release on the Amendment of the upper age limit and the official appointment of the Vice President. The Gambian people have been waiting for 8 months for the office of the Vice President to be filled as required by the current Gambian constitution.

We are aware there were some missteps in the appointment of the VP from the get go and as a result Gambians have patiently awaited for this constitutional obligation to be fulfilled by the Commander in Chief and President of the Republic President Adama Barrow.

On July 25th the National Assembly voted to amend the controversial bill supposedly clearing the way for the legal appointment of the Vice President since her disputed age was the alleged hindrance to her official confirmation to the office. It has been 32 days today since the bill was passed.

Section 100 sub-section 3 of the constitution stipulates that the President must formally assent to a bill passed by Parliament or Return it for further action. The Gambian people have not been informed whether the President signed this bill or not. If he has signed it, the public is not aware whether the bill has been gazetted as required. The people are therefore wondering what is holding the appointment of the VP president in direct contravention to the constitution of the Gambia.

Madam Director, in the spirit of the new Gambia and in accordance with your government’s promise for transparency and access to information by the media for further dissemination to the General public, we are formally requesting this pertinent information to be released either in the form of a press statement or press conference.

You and the line ministry of information will agree with us that at the present moment while our President is away on a long trip there is a constitutional vacuum for overseeing the office of the President. An acting VP cannot oversee the office of the President. Allah forbid if something were to happen to the President our country will be thrown into constitutional crisis.

The President is obligated to appoint a qualified Vice President as formerly dictated under section 62 and now under the new amendment. Honoring this request will prevent the media from speculating on the appointment of the VP.  We are therefore requesting the general public be informed of the status of the appointment of Vice President through the media. This formal request is being copied to other interested parties; the attorney General and Minister of Justice, the Chief Justice, the Minister of information , the Gambia press union and the Gambia Bar Association among other interest groups

While we anticipate your timely respond,

We remain yours Sincerely,

Gainako Editorial Board Gainako online Newspaper and Radio
Cc:
– Minister of information: Demba A. Jawo
– Chief Justice Assan B. Jallow
– Attorney General and Ministe of Justice Ba Tambedou
– The Gambia Press Union – President
– The Gambia Bar Association President

Updates: After sending out this letter we received copies of the Bill from an Independent Journalist associated with Gainako.. Here are copies of the Bill as it was signed by the President. Now what then is holding the confirmation of the Vice President??? 

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