President Barrow Promises New Constitution, Term Limits in Gambia

Gambia’s newly re-elected president, Adama Barrow has promised that his government plans to draft a new constitution that would introduce presidential term limits.

In his first news conference since the election, Barrow said that in addition to imposing term limits, a new constitution would restructure the polling process to include potential runoff polls if no candidate wins 50% of the votes.

He won re-election on Sunday despite challenges from some opposition candidates who initially rejected the results. Election observers have said the poll was conducted fairly.

Barrow, 56, will officially begin his second five-year term on Jan. 19, after being elected with 53% of Saturday’s vote under the current simple-majority system.

He did not detail whether such term limits would be retroactive, or whether they would permit him to seek additional terms after his current mandate ends.

The current constitution, drafted in 1997 at the dawn of former President Yahya Jammeh’s oppressive 22-year rule, does not include term limits. Jammeh lost to Barrow in 2016 and was later forced into exile.

Gambia’s parliament had last year rejected a revised constitution that included a two-term limit, which also would have prevented Barrow from using the new charter to reset his term count.


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