By Momodou Jarju
The convener of the coalition agreement of the 2016 presidential elections has declined to give details of the outcome of a reported meeting that stakeholders of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) had last Monday.
A local newspaper reported on Wednesday that insiders of the coalition talks disclosed that they have amended the MoU, which would see the standard bearer of the coalition government President Adama Barrow go for five years transitional period instead of three.
Fatoumatta Jallow Tambajang told Foroyaa via telephone conversation that they did not conclude the meeting as a result she would not give Foroyaa privy to the outcome of the meeting.
“After the meeting, we have to meet His Excellency the President (Adama Barrow) to discuss the meeting before anything is revealed to the media,” she said.
Madam Tambajang, who was the first vice president of President Barrow’s administration and later relieved from office in Barrow’s first cabinet reshuffle, said the informant(s) may have invented the information.
“So whoever is giving that information may have either concocted it because nobody, I did not speak to the media and I am not aware of any other member of the coalition speaking to the media,” she said.
However, Tambajang said she would endeavor to ascertain who the informant(s) was or were, hopefully when they meet again.
“We would try to find out whether any information came out from us. I’ve gone round and I’ve read the newspaper. I went round to ask a couple of people, but I haven’t been able to talk to everyone. I have tried to reach out to everyone. Some people did not pick their phones,” she explained.
Quizzed whether they would be meeting today (Friday) as reported by the local newspaper, Madam Tambajang responded in the negative.
“I am not going to give you any information as I said until we conclude our meeting. The conclusion of the meeting would be done by meeting, the coalition and the president, the executive,” Tambajang emphasized.
On Wednesday Foroyaa contacted the spokesperson of the United Democratic Party (UDP) on the same report indicating that three top brass of the UDP members marched out in protest of the meeting, after failing to convince the coalition stakeholders to sign the MoU before they could do any amendments. The three UDP’s representatives were Aja Yamou Secka, Amadou Sanneh and lawyer Borry Touray.
Almamy Fanding Taal denied that three of their party members marched out of the meeting saying the report misrepresented what actually happened. He said they were interested in signing the coalition three-year agreement but the other parties were not in favour of that, so they left the meeting instead of partaking in the amendment process.
Taal however said they would issue a statement to clarify issues about the matter as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, the heated debate of the coalition agreement looked far from abating until recently when President Barrow expressed his desire to accomplish his NDP which runs to 2021, the year for the next presidential election.
Though, Barrow two years ago assured Gambians that he would rule for three years as per the coalition agreement and leave office, he has since changed his heart on the matter.