Barrow Appoints Female Vice President
Gambia’s new President, Adama Barrow, has appointed Fatoumatta Tambajang, a former diplomat, as his Vice President, reports said from Dakar, Senegal, where he remains more than four days after he was sworn in.
It was learnt that President Barrow will return to Banjul tomorrow, two days after former President Yahya Jammeh left the country with virtually everything he could loot.
Mr. Barrow was sworn in at the Gambian embassy in Banjul as Jammeh refused to leave office. He was eventually compelled to go on Saturday night.
Tambajang is a prominent pro-democracy activist who was the driving force behind forming a coalition of opposition parties that rallied behind Barrow during the December 1 presidential election.
Jammeh has not been granted immunity from prosecution in exile, according to Mai Fatty, an executive member of Barrow’s coalition.
The new president rejected a proposal by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to protect Mr. Jammeh from prosecution, Fatty said.
Senegalese Foreign Minister Mankeur Ndiaye confirmed “no deal’’ had been negotiated with Mr. Jammeh, who ruled the small West African nation for 22 years with an iron fist.
Mr. Jammeh stands accused by the coalition of having stolen some $12 million out of state coffers during the stand-off that followed his election loss.
The former president’s government was also widely accused of corruption, human rights abuses and an incessant crackdown on the opposition.
Barrow has said he plans to establish a commission to investigate potential wrongdoing by Jammeh, who spent weeks trying to overturn the result of the presidential election.
Throngs of Gambians, meanwhile, returned home from neighboring Senegal on Monday, hours after ECOWAS troops secured Banjul and took control over the seat of government, State House.
Dozens of buses carried Gambians back across the border, while checkpoints were crowded with those waiting to cross on foot, bicycle or by car.
A former U.N. Development Program staffer, Tambajang was instrumental in helping Gambia's opposition parties overcome their differences and unite against ousted President Yahya Jammeh, who came to power in a coup and ruled for 22 years.
Ms Tambajang, 67, who played an important role in the formation of the opposition coalition that defeated former President Yahya Jammeh in last month’s election, was rewarded with the top job on Monday by the country’s new president, Adama Barrow.
She will be the principal assistant of Mr. Barrow in the discharge of his executive functions and other functions assigned to her.
“As you are currently aware, the constitution is suspended at the moment and parliament is due to meet tomorrow to end the state of emergency and effect some amendments to the constitution to guarantee the rights and freedoms of Gambians”.