Gambian parliamentarians on Tuesday removed the age limit associated with the office of President and Vice President. Under the old law, aspiring presidents, should not be more than 65 years of age. Similar criteria is required for the office of Vice president. The bill which was tabled by Interior Minister Mai Fatty, on behalf of Justice Minister Baa Tambadou, was unanimously approved by MPS, mainly from the former government of dictator Yahya Jammeh. 

The recent changes will enable the president Adama Barrow to be able to appoint Fatou Jallow Tambajang to serve as Vice president. Ms. Tambajang is overaged to serve as VP, per the constitution. But the age limit restriction which hindered her prospects of serving as VP, has been removed from the law books. She is now qualified to serve as Vice president. 

In another development, the House has also repealed the Election Act. The said Act requires people aspiring to be become MPS to deposit D500,000.00 dalasi before they could run as MPS. That aspect of the law has been repealed as from Tuesday.  Aspiring MPS are no longer required to pay such exorbitant fees. The old law, which has been repealed also required folks wanting to register political party to deposit one million dalasi. That’s no more under the new changes. 

The tenure for judges have been extended under the new changes. The legal age limit for members of the bench to retire has been extended to 75 years. It used to be 70 years. 

Both constitutional changes have been widely welcomed. President Barrow is expected to assent his signature on both legal changes. Once that is done, parliament would be dissolved. The elections has been scheduled for April. 

Written By Pa Nderry M’Bai

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