By Alhagie Jobe
Gambia’s President-elect Adama Barrow has renewed commitment to his election pledges that he will never preside over a country where arrests would take place without due process, detention affected without trial and non-violent dissent met imprisonment.
President-elect Adama Barrow’s declaration is contained in a statement issued Friday, a week after been elected to succeed Yahya Jammeh who had ruled with iron-fist for the past 22 years.
He said neither speech nor non-violent civil disobedience would lead to the imprisonment of any Gambian citizen under the administration of the Coalition. He said all laws that criminalize speech or non-violent civil dissent will be repealed.
He said he have requested the out- going President Yahya Jammeh to exercise his powers and that of the Attorney General to ensure the release of such categories of prisoners or detainees as he have mentioned as a good will gesture.
“I would not want to assume political office and start a clean- up exercise to remedy existing human rights violations which could be remedied by the out-going President” he said.
President-elect Adama Barrow renewed his election commitment to respect the rule of law, especially the supremacy of the constitution before, during and after assuming state power.
“Democracy will be enlarged and consolidated; respect for human rights shall be the cornerstone of the system of justice of the country. Good governance shall be enhanced by Constitutional, legal and institutional reforms that would safeguard the delivery of services to address the needs and aspirations of the people” he said.
He further promised to respect the independence of the Judiciary and the oversight functions of the National Assembly.
“Justice and competence in the service of the nation shall be the clarion call of my administration which all public servants will be obliges to pay heed to. I call on all of you to assist this administration to make Gambia a country that belongs to all her citizens; a country that would guarantee freedom and prosperity to all” he asserted.
Regarding some delays in making statements to keep the public informed, Barrow allayed fears and assured Gambians that progress is being made to facilitate a smooth transfer of power. He called on people to understand that to do what has never been done before requires careful planning and measuring of steps before taking them.
“This is precisely the way this administration intends to do business. We will consult and build consensus before issuing statements. It is important to assert that this administration intends to give Gambia a new start” he concluded.