|President Adama Barrow and his Joint Transition Team|
Wednesday, February 15, 2017
President Barrow inaugurates Joint Transition Team
The President of the Republic of The Gambia, His Excellency Adama Barrow today, February 15, 2017, inaugurated a ‘Joint Transition Team’ at a ceremony held at his temporal office at the Kairaba Beach Hotel in Senegambia.
The Joint Transition team comprises of current and former Ministers and Vice Presidents. The ceremony brought together dignitaries from the UNDP, Transition Expert, Secretary General, Permanent Secretaries, Executive Members of the Coalition 2016, Media and among a host of others.
“As you know, on 19th January, I had the honour to be sworn in as the President of the Republic of the Gambia, reflecting the will of the people expressed in free elections,” President Barrow reminded the gathering as he launches the Joint Transition Team.
“We are assembled here today for an important step on our democratic agenda- the inauguration of a Joint Transition Team.”
He assured that The Gambia shall remain an independent and sovereign state, noting that regardless of the political, ethic, religious affiliation there is need for all to work to contribute to the unity and togetherness of the country.
To achieve these goals, the new Gambian leader informed the joint transition team that they have been requested to work for the benefit of the Gambian people, who have gone through many hardships.
His Government, according to him, is committed to democratic principles and the will of the people, as well as committed to the principle of continuity of governance and the need to build durable and independent institutions of state.
He further told the gathering that today’s process therefore lays the foundation blocks and sows the seeds for fully transparent and accountable governance, adding that they will develop stronger framework and mechanisms to better regulate the transition in the medium term.
“I wish to end by stating that this process is simply to collect facts, data, and information,” President Barrow noted, while saying that what is required here are facts which will inform policy decisions for the benefit of the entire country.
He finally enthused that with the support of the friends and partners from the international community, the people of the Gambia have embarked on an important journey as a free and independent country, which will shape the destiny of their children and grand-children.
Reasons for Late Handing-Over
“Our 1997 Gambian Constitution requires a defeated President to exit office after an election,” President Barrow noted, pointing out that this is why the outgoing president was expected to properly hand-over power to his government.
This, according to him, is to make sure there is institutional continuity of knowledge and experience, as it requires the sides two to work on a transitional programme.
The new Gambian leader also emphasized that the political stalemate after the December 2016 election made it impossible to have a proper handing –over.
He continued: “No formal hand-over was undertaken between the government of ex-president Jammeh and my current Government. This has seriously affected the functioning of the administration and the lives of thousands of citizens.
“It has also damaged the image of our dear country and created fear and panic in our people. As you know, I had to be sworn into office on Gambian soil in Dakar in neighbouring Senegal”.