Fatoumata Jallow-Tambajang has been named as the new vice president of The Gambia in the government of President Adama Barrow.
She was adviser to the first president of The Gambia, Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara, on women and children’s affairs, and Yahya Jammeh’s minister of health, social welfare and women’s affairs, 1994-95.
She had also worked with the United Nations Development Programme as a gender and development expert.
Her appointment was announced yesterday by Halifa Sallah, the spokesperson of the Coalition government, at a press conference held at Kairaba Beach Hotel in Kololi.
Madam Tambajang has been instrumental in successfully bringing the fragmented opposition parties to come together to form a formidable coalition to challenge the entrenched and veteran president, Yahya Jammeh.
She was later made the chairperson of the coalition,which eventually defeated Jammeh in the 1st December 2016 presidential election, bringing an abrupt end to Jammeh’s 22 years grip on power.
The new vice president was born on 22 October 1946 in Brikama. She was schooled in The Gambia, Senegal and France.
She is a national female icon, mother of eight children and an award winning UNDP-groomed development practitioner focused on gender mainstreaming.
During her work with UNDP and other international women rights NGOs, she had manned various leadership positions for more than 20 years including in challenging environments such as in war-torn Mano River and Great Lakes regions.
She is said to be a dynamic human rights defender, active in women’s and political activism in The Gambia.
She had chaired the Gambia National Women’s Council, and represented it at the Gambia National Economic and Social Council for six years.
Author: Kaddijatou Jawo
Source: The Point
The appointment of Mrs Fatoumata Tambajang- Jallow as the Vice President of new administration has raised serious concern about her age qualification as far as 1997 constitution is concerned. According to 1997 constitution, part 2 :
The vice-president (70). (1) There shall be a vice – president of The Gambia who shall be the principal assistant of the president in the discharge of his or her executive functions and shall exercise such other functions as may be conferred on him or her by this constitution or assigned to him or her by the president.
(2) A person shall be qualified to be appointed as Vice-president if he or she has the qualifications required for the election of the president under section 62. Provided that the Vice- President shall not be a member of the National Assembly.
Here is what section 62 said about qualification for the election of the president:
Part 1 . Qualification for election as President:
(1) A person shall be qualified for election as president if –
(a) he or she is a citizen of The Gambia by birth or decent ,
(b) he or she attained the minimum age of thirty years but not more sixty-five years.
From the above constitutional provisions, in order to be qualified to be Vice President, one must be qualified to be elected as the president of The Gambia . The new Vice President is well above sixty-five years because she is 70 years old to be exact . She was born October 22, 1946.
When we Follow The Gambia’s constitution Strictly, Ms Tambajang Jallow is not qualified to be appointed as Vice President of the new administration. This is simply based on the above constitutional provision , section 62 (b) which disqualified her to be elected as president in the first place because of age qualification. Based on our current constitution , Anyone who is disqualified to be elected as president of the republic of The Gambia cannot be appointed as Vice President as indicated above . So the question, is the new administration set to start violation of our constitution just like the previous regime it has replaced? Clearly , this appointment is not in the letter and spirit of democratic and constitutionalism Gambians have voted for in the last election. Therefore , the president Adama Barrow should rescind this appointment and appoint someone who has the constitutional requirements to be Vice President. In the new Gambia, constitution and rule of law should be guiding principles in our decision making and conduct .
Mrs Tambajang-Jallow has done a lot of great work in the fight for political change and also as a good seasoned public servant in her past roles . She was relentless in her efforts of coalition building and fought hard for justice and rule of law to prevail in Jammeh’s administration. That spirit of resistance to constitutional violations must continue. Therefore she shouldn’t be an example of the constitutional violations in the new administration when she was the lead voice for strick constitutional adherence in the past .
I hope the new president and his team will work diligently to ensure that there is no ambiguity in their decision making and conduct as far as the constitution is concerned. Gambian people have voted for total transformation of doing business in Banjul. We do not vote for more of the same corrupt practices, nepotism, lawlessness and disregard for constitution. Making a mistake at this stage of leadership should be used as a learning curve in order to avoid corruption and lawlessness that marked the previous regime.
@Max. When and how and under what type of status quo did this age limit came to exist as law in the Gambian constitution?
Remember there are reasons why Gambians have dubbed the Jammeh regime, A LAWLESS REGIME..
There were moves for electoral reforms and i guess everybody is still fresh with the memories of incidents that followed them. Man! Jammeh has set a new date for the Gambia-presidential-elections just to suit his plans to be entrenched in power, in order to continue with his ravage of the country.
To me this law of age limit implies that no Gambian above 70 can hold the office of the president or vice- president. Does the latter sound basically sensible to you? Come on..,I think there needs to be more genuine points highlighted, in opposition of Mrs. Fatoumata Tambajang as vice president.
I have very little understanding of the Gambia’s constitution and I am not sure I have ever seen a copy of it before but what I am sure of is that there seems to be the most violations, disregard and lack of respect for the constitution during the past 22years than ever before. What i am individually prepossed with now is to see the incoming parliament in session and the Ecomigs screening of the whole country for bad elements and objects.
Gpgam, the age qualification is in the constitution but it is still discrimination. We can change it when we have National Assembly who are ready to change it . There are many provisions in the constitution which are discriminatory laws and which can all be changed when the coalition has its National Assembly members who are willing to change bad laws. You are right these bad laws were designed to help jammeh . They should be changed but we have to wait after the parliamentary elections when the coalition might have majority support or members to change those bad laws.