(JollofNews) – President Adama Barrow is reconsidering the appointment of Fatoumata Jallow-Tambajang as vice president of the Gambia, his spokesman has announced.
Halifa Sallah said mr Barrow is looking at some information that came to light regarding her eligibility for the role.
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.
However, her appointment is in breach of section 62 (b), which bars anyone older than 65 from becoming president or vice president of the Gambia.
Speaking at a press conference in Banjul, Mr Sallah said while it is the prerogative of the president to appoint a vice president, Mr Barrow’s attention has been drawn to the constitutional provisions regarding the eligibility of the position and he has decided in good faith to reconsider his earlier decision.
Under Gambian law, a person can only contest for the presidency or be appointed vice president if they are – citizens of the Gambia by birth or descent, attained the minimum age of 30 years but not more than 65 years and been ordinarily resident in the Gambia for the five years immediately preceding the election.
Mr Sallah said although Ms Tambajang is well suited for the job, Mr Barrow has vowed to respect the constitution of the Gambia and will never do anything that contravenes it.
He added that unlike other countries, the appointment of ministers and other top government positions are not scrutinised and approved by parliament. And in a bid to avoid similar embarrassing situation from recurring, Mr Sallah said Mr Barrow will consider instituting a panel to throughly scrutinise potential candidates for top government positions before confirming their appointments.