First and foremost I would like to acknowledge the positive mind of the concerned citizen with regards to GDC’s position on Rule of Law.
The Gambia has a constitution that is binding on any future president when voted into office. Until the provisions of the said constitution are changed by an act of Parliament or Referendum, they are binding on Mama Kandeh or Adama Barrow. Hence the constitution of the Gambia says in Chapter VI Part 1 Immunity 69 (3) that:
“(3) After a President has vacated the office or President-
(a) No court may entertain any action against him or her in any civil proceedings in respect of any act done in his or her official capacity as President;
(b) A criminal court shall only have jurisdiction to entertain proceedings against him or her in respect of acts or omissions alleged to have been perpetrated by him or her while holding office as President if the National Assembly has resolved on a motion supported by not less than two-thirds of all the members that such proceedings are justified in the public interest.”
From the above provision it is clear that with an APRC dominated House; it is most unlikely that they would change the above provisions. Until such times a new parliament with new members are voted in Jammeh will have total immunity against both civil and criminal lawsuits. As such neither Mama nor Adama can have an automatic authority over the lawmakers.
We should now remember that African constitutions are tailored to give sweeping powers to the executive and also shield them from future turbulent court cases.
In Africa we have kings not presidents.
Under a GDC government and GDC dominated House a lot of laws will change for the advantage of checks and balances between the Executive, the Judiciary and the Legislative.
In the Constitution there is a law call Economic crime. When the provisions affecting past president changes a GDC government shall endeavor to bring the past president to book on economic crimes.
The victim’s families may also take a former president to court for criminal proceedings and the Court will have total freedom to conduct fair trials for the parties. President Mama Kandeh as stated above will NEVER interfere with the Judiciary.
Civil servants may also take government to court for redress and the verdicts shall be respected and applied.
Companies may also take government to court for redress or amicable arbitration.
All mercenary Judges will have their contracts terminated immediately and Gambians appointed with similar benefits to replace them.
A Mama Kandeh government will also initiate a truth and reconciliation committee to heal social wounds.
President Mama Kandeh will respect and uphold the law of land to the letter and will not engage in unlawful executives orders.
Now to respect the above legal provisions of the constitution is not the only job of a president that is why GDC focuses its energies on the economic, financial and social well being of the population whiles the future Minister of Justice takes care of the law.
The president is not elected to serve as a minister justice as if it is the only thing that matters to Gambians voters.
This in essence is the philosophy of President Mama Kandeh and the GDC and if voted into office shall be executed to its fullest without fear or favor.
I hope I have adequately responded to your concerns.
Written By Baboucarr Bojang.