October 23, 2020

President Barrow Refuses To Meet Foreign Diplomats Over Draft Constitution

President Adama Barrow of The Gambia has refused a meeting with European Union EU, United States US, United Kingdom UK and German Embassy Representatives on the voting of the new Draft Constitution Bill 2020 in Banjul.

Ambassador Attila Lajos, the Head of the EU Delegation to The Gambia has made these revelations recently, during an interview with Esau Williams’s This Week In Politics  Programme on Hot FM Radio.

Ambassador Lajos who has been an instrumental figure in The Gambia Government’s transition programme, has confirmed that President Barrow had shied away from foreign diplomats on the day of voting on the new draft constitution, after knowing what they wanted to meet him for.

“We approached the Chief Protocol Officer in State House, asking for an appointment…we revealed the reason why we wanted to have the meeting and we were adviced on Tuesday morning that His Excellency had busy schedules and he has no time of receiving us and we were adviced to approach the Foreign Ministry instead,” the EU Ambassador Attila Lajos stated.

The EU Ambassador denied interfering in the sovereign matters of The Gambia. He argued that they were not lobbying to tell The Gambia what to do because they respect the sovereignty of The Gambia.

“What we are lobbying for is to have an entire parliamentary scrutiny to take place to let the Draft [Constitution] go to the third stage and what we lobbied for was in fact to let the people to decide because after all this is the Constitution of the land and the Draft should be decided by the people,” he remarked.

The Head of the EU Delegation went further to argue that most of the lawmakers had already made their minds even before the deliberations in the Parliament. He explained the importance to respond to the requests from the civil society to encourage the process to carry on to the third stage.

“We let the process to go among the Gambians, by the Gambians and for the Gambians,” Mr Lajos posited.

He described the allegations labelled against the international community of political interference to a particular political group that reminds him of the bad old days of dictatorship.

“It is a Jammeh style retheroric,” he said.

The EU has been the biggest donor partners of the Government of Adama Barrow. It has supported most of the Government projects including the  reform programmes and budgetary support that amounts to €365 Million Euros.

Meanwhile, the EU Ambassador said he has not fully lost faith in the transition programmes of the Government.

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