Thursday, December 7

MC Cham Jr Predicts Repeal of Former Presidents Act by Opposition

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MC Cham Jr, Business Councilor, Kanifing Municipal Council (KMC)

By Buba Gagigo

MC Cham Jr, Business Councilor at the Kanifing Municipal Council, has assured Gambians that there is no need to be concerned about the former president’s bill recently passed by the National Assembly. He stated that this legislation would likely be repealed once the opposition assumes power.

“First and foremost, I want to express my gratitude to the UDP and PDOIS NAMs for boycotting the bill’s session. It’s essential to recognize that the decision is widely supported by the Gambian populace. I would like to emphasize that no one should be dismayed; this law, passed by the National Assembly Members, can be easily undone,” he remarked.

As a staunch supporter of the UDP, MC Cham Jr also praised the UDP NAMs for their principled stance, which he sees as a reflection of their genuine commitment to the welfare of the country. He made it clear that his party does not condone the misuse of public funds.

“I’ve often said that when you speak the truth, people label you as UDP. However, the UDP’s commitment to the truth is evident in their rejection of this bill. This indicates that, when a UDP-led government takes power, they will revisit this law. While we acknowledge that former presidents deserve certain benefits, maintaining the same salary as the current president and having the state support their families is a costly burden that our economy cannot bear,” MC Cham Jr explained.

In addressing the ‘No To Alliance’ National Assembly Members, MC Cham Jr asserted that he had previously cautioned them that the bill was primarily aimed at President Barrow and not former President Jammeh.

“I had already informed the ‘No To Alliance’ that this bill pertained to President Barrow and not Yahya Jammeh. The Minister of Justice explicitly clarified this at the National Assembly, and the ‘No To Alliance’ heard it. He stated that Yahya Jammeh would be prosecuted, as recommended by both the TRRC and the government. So, Yahya Jammeh is not entitled to these benefits. The Speaker, Fabakary Tombong Jatta, attempted to halt him, but he had already conveyed the message. They were attempting to exploit it for political gain by suggesting that Yahya Jammeh might return. However, this has no bearing on Yahya Jammeh,” he asserted.

MC Cham Jr, a former Gambia Democratic Congress campaign manager, stressed that the ‘No To Alliance’ National Assembly Members should first address the issue of Yahya Jammeh’s outstanding salary, which is yet to be paid.

“What the ‘No To Alliance’ should focus on is that there is an existing law entitling Yahya Jammeh to a salary, which he has not received. That’s why I advocate for opposition parties to engage in dialogue and reconciliation for the benefit of the nation. As for the recently passed former president’s bill, there’s no need to worry, as it can be easily repealed. Remember, we used to have an age limit in the constitution, but it was changed when the government changed. Section 91 (d) was also removed. Similarly, this law, passed for the interest of one individual, can be eliminated through the same process,” he added.

MC Cham Jr also encouraged all UDP supporters to use the former president’s bill as a tool to expose government embezzlement.

“I urge all UDP supporters to expose the embezzlement committed by this government and make it a key part of their campaign. The hardship in the country has reached alarming levels, and there have been countless deaths on the perilous journey to Europe, with no government statement on the matter. It appears they only respond when Ousainou Darboe speaks; their entire agenda revolves around him and the UDP,” he remarked.

Regarding presidential adviser Dou Sannoh’s statement suggesting an easy victory for the NPP in 2026 if the UDP selects Lawyer Ousainu Darboe as their candidate, MC Cham Jr criticized Sannoh’s understanding of internal politics.

“I’ve heard Dou Sannoh’s statement, but it seems he lacks an understanding of how internal politics functions. He appears to have forgotten about the mayoral election, in which you lost in areas you aimed to win, all under the leadership of Lawyer Darboe. In fact, you used Lawyer Darboe’s name to advance your current position. Remember that it was Lawyer Darboe and the UDP that introduced Adama Barrow to the Gambian people. The focus should be on addressing the country’s challenges, which is more critical than debating whether Lawyer Darboe will be the Flag Bearer or not. Without President Barrow, the NPP is in jeopardy because the party was primarily formed within the State House, and most of you joined for personal gain,” he concluded.

The recently passed former president’s bill establishes an office for former presidents, which will be in place for the lifetime of a former president from the date they leave office. The government is required, within six months of a president’s departure from office, to equip the office to a cabinet-level standard and employ at least four staff members, including a personal assistant and personal secretary.