AN 0PEN LETTER TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE

WITH REGARD TO THE CONSTITUTIONALITY OF THE OFFICE OF THE VICE PRESIDENT

Why is letter addressed to you? The answer is simple. Section 73, sub-section 3 of the 1997 constitution states, “The cabinet shall be responsible for advising the President with respect to the policies of the Government.”

Section 72, sub-section 2 adds “The Attorney General shall be the principal legal adviser to the Government.”

It is therefore your duty to inform the President of the Republic of all constitutional requirements.

Few people could have imagined that a Government so entrenched as that of Yahya Jammeh’s could have been uprooted by the ballot of The Gambians. This confirmed that the power of the people is real and their unanimous voice was heard.

Under ‘normal’ circumstances The Vice President would be sworn in to assume the Presidency if there would be a Presidential vacancy. The fact that the Women’s Affairs Minister, Madam Fatoumata Jallow Tambajang is overseeing the office of the Vice President is mind boggling. The makeup of the constitution as it stands now would presumably prevent Madam Tambajang’s selection to the Presidency (because of the controversy surrounding her age) This technicality needs to be addressed.

Regardless of the obvious fact that the 1997 Constitution and its amendments had been quite deflective as it was tailor-made to serve ex-president Jammeh’s own interests, it is the only constitution we have and the Government cannot afford not to disrespect it. 

If we are to have a smooth transition and a peaceful way forward we must have a Government that is ready to listen, remedy wrongs, and does not leave itself vulnerable by not following the constitution; and a people who reason and oppose everything that is wrong and give support to everything that is right.

Long live The Gambia.

Seedy Sheriff Ceesay

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